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The Technical Services 




Leo P. Bropby 


First Printed 1959— CMH Pub 10- 1 

I of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Qffici.- 
Waslnnvrton. DC 20+02 


Maj. Gen. William N. Porter, Chief of Chemical Warfare Service, 
World War II. 


Kent Roberts Greenfield, General Editor 

(As of i January 1958) 

Elmer Ellis 
University of Missouri 

Samuel Flagg Bemis 
Yak University 

Gordon A t Craig 
Princeton University 

Oron J. Hale 
University of Virginia 

W. Stull Holt 
University of Washington 

Maj. Gen + Oliver P, Newman 
US. Continental Army Command 

Brig. Gen, Edgar C Dolernan 
Army War College 

Brig. Gen. Frederick R. Zierath 
Command and General Staff College 

Brig, Gen. Kenneth F, Zitzman 
Industrial College of the Armed Forces 

Col- Vincent J. Esposito 
United States Military Academy 

T. Harry Williams 

Maj, i 

Chief Historian 

Chief, Histories Division 

Chief, Editorial and Publication Division 

Editor in Chief 

Chief, Cartographic Branch 

Chief, Photographic Branch 

Kent Roberts Greenfield 
Col. Seneca W. Foote 
Lt. CoL E. E. Steele 
Joseph R, Friedman 
Elliot Dunay 
Margaret E. Tackley 

. to Those Who Served 


General employment of toxic munitions in World War I made it necessary 
for the United States as a belligerant to protect its soldiers against gas attack, 
and to furnish means for conducting gas warfare. The postwar revulsion against 
the use of gas in no way guaranteed that it would not be used in another war; 
and to maintain readiness for gas warfare, Congress therefore authorized the 
retention of the Chemical Warfare Service as a small but important part of the 
Army organization. 

Between world wars, officers of the Chemical Warfare Service anticipated 
that in another conflict the Service would again be principally concerned with 
gas warfare, and they concentrated on defense and retaliation against it. The 
almost equal preparedness of the United States and other nations for gas warfare 
acted during World War II as the principal deterrent to the uses of gas. That it 
was not used has obscured the very large and vital effort that preparations for gas 
warfare required at home and overseas. This effort involved large numbers of 
American scientists and the American chemical industry as well as the Chemical 
Warfare Service, and served not only the Army but also the other armed forces 
of the United States and those of Allied nations. And in World War II the 
Chemical Warfare Service and its civilian collaborators came up with some new 
major weapons, notably the 4.2-inch mortar, generators for large-area smoke 
screening, flame throwers, and incendiary and flame bombs. The Service acquired 
in addition an entirely new mission, that of preparing the nation against the 
hazards of biological attack. In fulfilling its responsibilities the Chemical War- 
fare Service during the war compiled a record of achievement that readers of this 
subseries both in and out of the Army, will find instructive. 

Washington, D. C. 
7 March 1958 

Maj. Gen., U. S. A. 
Chief of Military History 


The Authors 

Dr. Leo P. Brophy holds an A.B. degree from Franklin and Marshall College 
and M. A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from Fordham University. After teaching 
history and sociology at Fordham and Seton Hall Universities, he joined the 
staff of the Chemical Corps Historical Office in 1945. He has specialized in 
administrative and logistic history. Since 1953 Dr. Brophy has served as Chief 
of the Chemical Corps Historical Office. 

Col. George B. Fisher, a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed 
Forces, was commissioned in the National Army during World War I and 
received a Regular Army commission in 1920. As a Chemical Warfare Service 
officer from 1929 until his retirement in 1947, he held a number of important 
training and administrative posts, including tours as Chief of the Training 
Division, Office of the Chief, CWS; Assistant Commandant of the Chemical 
Warfare School; director of Army civil defense schools in World War II; and 
Chemical Officer, Third United States Army in Europe. From 1951 until his 
death in 1956 he served as a consultant in the Chemical Corps Historical Office. 



This is the first of three volumes devoted to the activities of the Chemical 
Warfare Service in World War II. Part One of the present volume traces the 
organization and administration of the Chemical Warfare Service from its 
origins in World War I up through World War II. Part Two deals with training 
of military personnel for offensive and defensive chemical warfare in the same 

Even more than other elements of the Army, the Chemical Warfare Service 
(designated Chemical Corps after World War II) felt the effects of the 
government's restrictions on personnel and funds in the years between the two 
world wars. This was partly the aftermath of international efforts to outlaw gas 
warfare and partly the result of antipathy to that type of warfare on the part 
of various high government officials. Certain members of the War Department 
General Staff, including at times the Chief of Staff himself, were opposed to gas 
warfare. Consequently the Chemical Warfare Service was considered as more 
or less a necessary nuisance. 

The movement toward general national preparedness that got under way in 
the late 1930*5 led to an increase in the stock levels of certain chemical warfare 
items. Included in 1938 Educational Order legislation providing for a build-up 
of a limited number of Army items was the gas mask. Later legislation and War 
Department directives enabled the Chemical Warfare Service to make still 
further preparations for gas warfare, offensive and defensive. These activities, 
continued throughout the war years, helped to deter the enemy from initiating 
gas warfare. During World War II, in addition to discharging its responsibility 
for gas warfare, the Chemical Warfare Service carried out a number of other 
chemical warfare missions for which it had little or no preparation in the prewar 
years. The service was also assigned a biological warfare mission. 

Although any of the three volumes on the Chemical Warfare Service can be 
read as an entity, the first seven chapters of the present work will serve to 
illuminate the remainder of the CWS story. Against the background provided 
by Part One, the account of specific functions such as military training (covered 
in Part Two of this volume) , research, procurement, and supply (covered in the 
second volume), and chemical warfare activities in the oversea theaters of opera- 
tions (covered in the third volume) will emerge in clearer perspective. 

A further word of explanation with regard to Part One may be of assistance 
to the reader. The aim here is to discuss developments in organization and 


administration primarily as they affected the Chief, Chemical Warfare Service, 
and his immediate staff and secondarily as they affected the commanders of 
Chemical Warfare Service field installations. Since these developments in almost 
all instances had their origin at a level higher than that of the Chief of the 
Chemical Warfare Service, pertinent background information on policy at the 
higher level is included. 

Dr. Leo P. Brophy is responsible for Part One. He has been assisted in the 
research and writing, on Chapters IV and V by Mr. Herbert G. Wing, formerly 
of the Historical Staff, Chemical Corps. The late Col. George J. B. Fisher, 
USA, was primarily responsible for Part Two. Colonel Fisher was taken ill 
before he was able to complete the research and writing of this portion of the 
volume. His work was taken up and completed by the staff of the Historical 
Office. Dr. Brophy wrote the section in Chapter XIII on the training of chemical 
mortar battalions, and the section in Chapter XVI on the training of the Army 
in the use of flame, smoke, and incendiaries. Dr. Brooks E. Kleber and Mr. Dale 
Birdsell assisted in the research of these and other chapters in Part Two. 

The authors of this volume were greatly aided in their research by the com- 
petent staff of the Departmental Records Branch, Office of The Adjutant Gen- 
eral, particularly Mrs. Caroline Moore; by Mr. R. W. Krauskopf of the staff of 
the National Archives; by Mr. Roger W. Squier, Office of the Comptroller of 
the Army; and by Mr. Michael D. Wertheimer, Office of the Deputy Chief of 
Staff for Personnel, Department of the Army. Mrs. Alice E. Moss supervised 
the typing of the manuscript. 

The authors are indebted to the many veterans of the Chemical Warfare Service 
who through interviews and otherwise aided them in writing the volume. Among 
these were several whose assistance was most helpful: Maj. Gen. William N. 
Porter, Maj. Gen. Alden H. Waitt, Maj. Gen. Charles E. Loucks, Brig. Gen. 
Henry M. Black, Col. Harry A. Kuhn, Lt. Col. Selig J. Levitan, and Col, Ray- 
mond L. Abel. 

In the Office of the Chief of Military History, Lt. Col. Leo J. Meyer, Deputy 
Chief Historian, and his successor, Dr. Stetson Conn, rendered valuable assistance* 
Final editing was accomplished by Mr. David Jaffe, senior editor, assisted by 
Mrs. Helen Whittington, copy editor. Mrs. Norma Sherris selected the photo- 

Washington, D. C LEO P. BROPHY 

2 April 1958 



Administrative Development 

Chapter Page 


Gas Warfare Organization, American Expeditionary Forces . . 5 

Centralizing Chemical Warfare Activities 8 

The Chemical Warfare Service, National Army 11 


The Issue of Gas Warfare 18 

The War Department and Gas Warfare 22 

Carrying Out the Peacetime Mission: 1920—$$ 24 

Relations With Other Elements of Armed Forces 34 

Industrial Mobilization Gets Under Way ........ 36 

Research and Development: A Change in Outlook 37 

Limited Emphasis on Chemical Warfare Service Training ... 38 

Organizational Developments: 1940-41 39 

Development of the Chemical Warfare Service Mission in the 

Emergency Period 43 


The Study of January 1942 49 

The Concern of Mr. McCloy 52 

The Porter Proposals 54 

The Gas Mission Defined 59 


Mission and Functions of the Committee 65 

Activities and Accomplishments 70 

The Question of Initiating Gas Warfare 86 

Summary 88 


Early Wartime Organization 94 

Developments, May 194$— October 1945 101 


Chapter P*g* 


The Procurement Districts no 

The Chemical Warfare Center 117 

The Arsenals 120 

The Depots 122 

Training Installations and Facilities 125 

Research and Development Facilities 132 

Testing Facilities 134 

Biological Warfare Installations 138 


Procurement and Assignment of Officers 142 

Procurement and Utilization of Enlisted Personnel 149 

Negro Military Personnel 150 

Women's Army Corps Personnel in the Chemical Warfare Service 152 

The Expanding Civilian Rolls 154 

Administration From Washington 159 

Installation Management of Civilian Personnel 162 

Training Civilian Workers 173 

Utilization of Employees 177 

Guarding the Worker's Life and Health 182 


Military Training 



Prewar Training of Chemical Warfare Service Personnel ... 188 

Training of Other Branches 191 

Chemical Warfare School 194 

Training Situation in 1939 196 


Chemical Troops in the Emergency Period 199 

The Question of Combat Functions 201 

Chemical Service Units 205 

Activation of Ground Service Units 208 

Plans for Air Service Units 209 

Replacement Training at Edgewood Arsenal 210 

Replacement Training Programs 213 

Conduct of Replacement Training 215 



Gas Defense Training: ig^~ig4i 217 

Chemical Warfare Training of Ground Forces 219 

Army Air Forces Training 222 

School Training 224 

Instruction of Reserve Officers 225 


CWS Prewar Interest in Civilian Defense 229 

Preparation of Instructional Material 232 

School Training at Edgetvood Arsenal 236 

War Department Civilian Protection Schools 241 

Miscellaneous Activities 245 

Supervision of War Department Civilian Protection Schools . . 247 


Volume of Wartime Publications 251 

Setting Up the Publications Program 252 

The Pattern of Military Publications 256 

The Preparation of Manuals 258 

Speeding Up the Program 261 


The Upswing in RTC Requirements 267 

RTC Curriculum 274 

Training Procedures 279 

Officer Pools 282 

Supervisory Control 284 

Movement of Trainees 287 

Curtailment of the Program 289 


The Building of Military Organizations 294 

CWS Participation in Unit Training 297 

Unit Training at Camp Sibert 312 

Chemical Service Unit Training in Retrospect 336 


Administration 339 

Training of CWS Personnel 342 

Training of Other Arms and Services 346 

Academic Procedures 351 

Western Chemical Warfare School 353 

Other Schools 355 

Accomplishment of School Training 357 


Chapter Page 


OCS Role in Officer Procurement 361 

Capacity Targets 363 

Facilities 366 

Selection of Candidates 367 

Staff and Faculty 3^9 

Training Program 372 

The Problem of Failures * 374 


Antigas Training of Air and Ground Units 382 

Changes in War Department Policy 384 

Revival of Antigas Training 385 

Service-Wide Inspection 388 

Shortcomings in Antigas Training 390 

Flame, Smoke, and Incendiaries 393 

Appendix Page 

A. Total Chemical Warfare Service Military Personnel Strength, 31 

December 1941-31 December 1945 398 

B. Chemical Warfare Service Personnel Strength, Overseas, 30 April 

1942-31 December 1945 400 

C. Chemical Warfare Service Negro Personnel Strength, Worldwide, 

30 April 1942-31 December 1945 402 

D. Office of the Chief, CWS Officer Personnel Strength, August 193^- 

December 1945 404 

E. Key Personnel Office of Chief, Chemical Warfare Service . . . 406 

F. Chemical Warfare School, Detailed Program, Replacement Center 

Officer's Course 409 

G. Hq. Sixth Corps Area, Training Memorandum No. 13, 4 December 

1940 411 

H. Chemical Warfare Service, Unit Data, World War II ... . 422 

1 . Chemical Mortar Battalions 

2. Chemical Mortar Companies 

3. Chemical Smoke Generator Battalions 

4. Chemical Smoke Generator Companies 

5. Chemical Companies, Air Operations 

6. Chemical Depot Companies (Aviation) 

7. Chemical Maintenance Companies (Aviation) 

8. Chemical Depot Companies and Chemical Base Depot Com- 


9. Chemical Maintenance Companies 


Appendix Page 

10. Chemical Decontamination Companies 

11. Chemical Processing Companies 

12. Chemical Service Battalions 

13. Chemical Composite Service and General Service Companies 

14. Chemical Composite and Service Platoons and Detachments 

15. Chemical Laboratory Companies 

16. Chemical Composite Battalions 

I. War Department Chemical Warfare Training Directive, 15 June 

i94 2 47 2 



INDEX 488 


No. Page 

1. Congressional Appropriations for CWS, 1922-46 25 

2. Military Strength of the CWS, 1918-46 26 

3. Chemical Warfare Service Civilian Personnel Strength, November 

1918-December 1945 27 

4. 1942 Proposed Modification in CWS Troop Basis 58 

5. CWS Troop Basis, as of 13 August 1942 59 

6. Actual Strength of Civilian Employees (Filled Positions), 31 December 

*944 155 

7. Peak Civilian Personnel Figures at Principal CWS Installations During 

World War II 163 

8. Chemical Warfare School Courses, School Year 1937-38 .... 195 

9. Chemical Warfare Service Units Active During World War II (As 

of dates indicated) 266 

10. Shipment of RTC Trainees, Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland .... 269 

11. Wartime Training of CWS Service Units 312 

12. Provisional Organization, CWS UTC, February 1943 317 

13. Enlisted Specialists in Each Chemical Service Type Company, World 

War II 331 

14. Enlisted Specialist Schooling Utilized in CWS Unit Training . . . 332 

15. Graduates of the Chemical Warfare School, Edgewood Arsenal, Mary- 

land 357 

16. Hours of Scheduled Instructions, CWS OCS 375 



No. Page 

1. Organization, Office, Chief of Chemical Warfare Service, Washington, 

D.C., as of 6 July 1940 40 

2. Organization of the Chemical Warfare Service, as of August 1940 . 41 

3. Organization, Office, Chief of Chemical Warfare Service, as of 2 

September 1941 44 

4. Organization of the Army Service Forces, as of 30 June 1943 . . * 93 

5. Office, Chief of Chemical Warfare Service, as of 26 August 1943 . 102 

6. Chicago Procurement District, Chemical Warfare Service, as of 15 

August 1944 116 

7. Chemical Warfare Center, as of 10 May 1942 118 

8. Schematic Diagram t Chemical Warfare Supply, as of 6 December 1944 124 

9. Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland: Eastern Chemical Warfare Depot, as of 

20 April 1945 126 

10. Distribution of CWS Military Personnel, as of 30 June 1944 .... 147 

11. Chemical Warfare Service Officer Strength and OCS Graduations: May 

1940-July 1945 362 


No. Page 

i. Chemical Warfare Service Field Installations, World War II 112 



Maj. Gen. William N. Porter Frontispiece 

Stokes Trench Mortar 7 

Maj. Gen. William L. Sibert 12 

Chemical Plants, Edgewood Arsenal 13 

Chemical Warfare Service Chiefs 29 

4.2-Inch Chemical Mortar 46 

CWS Equipment 5 2 

1 -Ton Chemical Containers 61 

HC Mi Smoke Pots in Use 7 1 

Laying Smoke Screen 76 


Brig. Gen. Rollo C. Ditto 103 

Brig. Gen. Alden H. Waitt 103 

Brig. Gen. Ray L. Avery 119 

Brig. Gen. Haig Shekerjian 128 

Brig. Gen. E. F. BuIIene 129 

Maj. Gen. Dwight F. Davis 145 

Women at Pine Bluff Arsenal 165 

Basic Training 192 

Gas Training for Officers 193 

Troops of 3d Chemical Mortar Battalion 206 

White Phosphorus From 4.2-Inch Mortars 207 

RTC Classroom Training 221 

Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia 230 

Gas Defense Training for Civilians 234 

Demonstration in Decontamination Procedures 238 

Chemical Warfare Troops Undergoing Training 273 

Army Maneuvers, Louisiana, 1942 301 

Flame Thrower Demonstration 309 

Unit Training at Camp Sibert 322 

Women Leaving CWS Gas Chamber 387 

M9 Chemical Detector Kit 393 

Medium Tank Equipped With Flame Thrower 395 

Illustrations are from Department of Defense files. 




Origins of the Chemical 
Warfare Service 

The Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) came into being during an era 
of unprecedented change in the technology of war. 1 The introduction of gas 
warfare by Germany in April 191 5 presented new problems of military 
techniques with which none of the Allied Powers was then prepared to cope. 
In the United States the War Department by the fall of 191 5 began to show 
an interest in providing troops with protection against gas and assigned 
responsibility for the design and development of respirators to the Medical 
Department. In carrying out his responsibilities, The Surgeon General de- 
tailed certain Medical officers to the British and French Armies as observers, 
and these officers sent back periodic reports which included information on 
gas defense. 2 The Army took no steps to supply the troops with masks or 
to prepare for offensive gas warfare until the first part of 1917. 

It was not the War Department but a civilian branch of the government 
that took the first step in preparation for the employment of toxic agents. 
Early in 1917 the Secretary of the Interior surveyed his department to deter- 
mine how it might contribute to the national defense and decided that the 
Bureau of Mines, which, since its establishment in 1910, had been investigat- 
ing poisonous gases in mines, might be utilized in assisting the Army and 
Navy in developing a gas war program. On 8 February, Van H. Manning, 
the director of the Bureau of Mines wrote to the chairman of the Military 
Committee of the National Research Council (NRC) offering the bureau's 

1 The Chemical Warfare S ervice was designated the Chemi cal Corps hy Public Law 607, 79th 

at the end of this volume for the 

Congress, on 2 August 1946. See the Bibliographical Note 

location of sources cited in footnotes. 

2 The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War; XIV, Medical 
Aspects of Gas Warfare (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1926), 27, hereafter cited as 
Medical Aspects of Gas W arfare. 



services. 3 Formal action on the recommendation was taken on 3 April 1917, 
when the Military Committee of NRC appointed a subcommittee on noxious 
gases, to "carry on investigations into noxious gases, generation, and antidote 
for same, for war purposes/' 4 Under the chairmanship of the director of 
the Bureau of Mines, the subcommittee included Ordnance and Medical 
officers from both Army and Navy as well as two members of the Chemical 
Committee of the National Research Council. The work of this group pro- 
vided the genesis of the chemical warfare research effort of the United States 
in World War I. 

The War Department's early lack of serious concern about the new type 
of warfare might be attributed to the fact that the effectiveness of a gas 
attack with the agents then in use was waning by 191 7 because of the 
efficiency of antigas protection. It was not until the German Army in July 
1917 began the use of dichloroethyl sulfide, the so-called mustard gas, as 
a liquid toxic filler for projectiles that the War Department began to give 
serious consideration to preparations for gas warfare. Mustard gas was per- 
sistent, it proved to be a high casualty producer, and it considerably widened 
the scope of chemical warfare. 5 

As the gas warfare needs of U.S. troops in France became known in 
Washington they were referred to the War Department bureau to which 
each seemed to relate. The basic requirement was a gas mask; this item, 
because of its prophylactic nature, was assigned to the Medical Department 
for procurement and distribution. Training of individuals in use of the mask 
then became a Medical responsibility. 6 The War Department assigned the 
responsibility for the manufacture and filling of gas shells to the Ordnance 
Department, which erected a new arsenal for this purpose at Edgewood, 
Maryland. 7 Engineer troops were selected for the projection of chemical 

3 (i) Van H. Manning, War Gas Investigations, Dept. of Interior Bull. 178— A (Washington: 
Government Printing Office, 1919). (2) Memo by G. S. Rice, Bureau of Mines, regarding early 
history of mask and gas investigations for the Army, 9 Jan 18. RG 7, NA. 

4 Red of Mtg. Mil Com NRC, 3 Apr 17- RG 70, NA. 

5 (i) John J. Pershing, My Experiences in the World War (New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 
I 93 I )» Ij 166-67. (2) Amos A. Fries and Clarence J. West, Chemical Warfare (New York: 
McGraw-Hill, i92i),p. 151. 

G In September 1917, a Gas Defense Service, Sanitary Corps, Medical Department, was 
activated. This service, in which a group of forty-five chemists was commissioned, was placed in 
charge of training. In April 1918 the officers of the Gas Defense Service were transferred to the 
Corps of Engineers. See Report of the Director of Chemical Warfare Service, 1919, pp. 43-49- 
Hereafter cited as Rpt of CWS, with appropriate year. 

7 For detailed account of the building of Edgewood Arsenal, see Benedict Crowell, America's 
Munitions, 1917-1918 (Washington; Government Printing Office, 1919), pp. 395-409- 



agents, and a regiment of gas and flame troops, to be known as the 
30th Engineers, was authorized, 8 Supplying gas alarms became a function of 
Signal Corps. 9 An agency for solving technical problems was at hand in the 
subcommittee on noxious gases mentioned above. In September 1917 this 
committee established a research and experiment station, financed by the 
War and Navy Departments and operated by the Bureau of Mines, at 
American University on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. 10 The Bureau of 
Mines also supervised research activities on war gases at many universities 
and industrial laboratories throughout the country as well as at laboratories 
of other government agencies. 

Gas Warfare Organization, American Expeditionary Forces 

The problems of gas warfare administration were in the meantime 
receiving serious consideration in the theater of operations under the urgency 
of an active gas warfare situation. A board of officers was appointed to 
plan a gas warfare organization for the American Expeditionary Forces 
(AEF) on 18 June 1917, a few days after General John J. Pershing's 
arrival in France. 11 The board analyzed the gas warfare establishments of 
the British, French, and German Armies and considered the recommenda- 
tions of Dr. George A. Hulett of Princeton University, who had spent some 
time in England and France studying the use of gas in war. Following the 
board's recommendation, General Pershing decided to centralize the han- 
dling of all gas warfare matters under an independent agency. He reported 
his scheme of organization to Washington on 4 August 1917, recommending 
that a similar consolidation be adopted by the War Department. 12 

Two weeks later General Pershing assigned Lt. Col. Amos A. Fries, an 
Engineer officer who had served under him in the Philippines in 1905, as 

8 (i) WD GO 108, 15 Aug 17. (2) History of ist Gas Regiment, Pt. I, p. i. MS, n.d. 

9 Rptof CWS, 1919, P- 3- 

30 Medical Aspects of Gas Warfare, pp. 35-36. 

"Memo, Lt Col John McA. Palmer, C Opns Sec, Hq AEF, for CofS AEF, 30 July 17, sub: 
Gas and Flame Serv, Offensive and Defensive. Copy of this memo appears as Appendix II in 
History of Chemical Warfare Service, American Expeditionary Forces, a seventy-one-page detailed 
account of organization and administration, together with sixty-five supporting appendixes, which 
is apparently the official history written shortly after World War I. H-12 and H-13. This is 
hereafter cited as History of CWS, AEF. 

"(i)Ltr, CinC AEF to TAG, 4 Aug 17, sub: Cml or Gas Serv. (2) James G. Harbord, The 
American Army in France (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1936), p. 12S. Maj. Gen. James 
G. Harbord states that details of proposed organization were sent to War Department on 28 July. 



Engineer in Charge of Gas. 13 As such Fries became the chief of the Gas 
Service, AEF, when it was officially established on 3 September 19 17. 14 
The following day Fries was raised to the rank of colonel and placed in 
command of the 30th Engineers, the gas and flame regiment. 15 He at once 
set up headquarters at Chaumont, where he would be in close touch with 
the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the American Expeditionary Forces. 

The AEF order which established the Gas Service specified that the chief 
of the service would be "charged with the organization of the personnel, the 
supply of material and the conduct of the entire Gas Service, both Offensive 
and Defensive, including instruction/' The first task confronting Fries was 
that of securing suitable officer personnel. Even before the Gas Service 
was officially established he had obtained the services of two Medical De- 
partment officers, Col. James R. Church, who had been observing the effects 
of gas on French troops, and Capt Walter M. Boothby, who had been given 
a similar assignment with the British. Colonel Church headed the Medical 
Section of the Gas Service until December 1917 when he was succeeded by 
Col. Harry L. Gilchrist. 16 The Medical Section was responsible for training 
and instructing Medical officers and other personnel in the treatment of gas 
casualties, as well as for the inspection of methods and facilities for the care 
of gassed cases. 17 

From the other branches of the Army, including Engineers, Ordnance, 
Cavalry, and Infantry, Fries obtained some two hundred officers who, al- 
though they were assigned to the Gas Service, continued to hold commissions 
in their respective branches. These officers, as well as the enlisted men 
who were transferred to the Gas Service, were given a course of instruction 
in gas defense at the I Corps Gas School, which was activated on 15 October 
1917. 18 The same month an Army Gas School, with courses in both defensive 

"Cablegram (Pershing) ui-S, Paris, France, 18 Aug 17, Par. 19. WD Cables, P series, 
A.E.F. files, NA. 

14 (i)Interv, CralHO with Maj Gen Amos A. Fries, USA (Ret.), 4 Aug 55. (2) Copy of 
AEF GO 31, 3 Sep 17. All AEF general orders cited in this chapter appear in Historical Division, 
Department of the Army, UNITED STATES ARMY IN THE WORLD WAR: 1917-1919, XVI, 
General Orders, G.H.Q., A.E.F. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1948). 

14 Historical Division, Department of the Army, UNITED STATES ARMY IN THE WORLD 
WAR: 1917-1919, XV, Reports of Commander-in-Chief t A.E.F., Staff Sections and Services 
(Washington: Government Printing Office, 1948), 291, hereafter cited as Reports of Commander- 
in-Chief, A.E.F. , Staff Sections and Services. 

ie (i)History of CWS, AEF, pp. 7-8. (2) Medical Aspects of Gas Warfare, pp. 39"50- (3) 
Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, p. 114. 

" Medical Aspects of Gas Warfare, pp. 67—73. 

u (i)AEF GO 45, 8 Oct 17. (2) Schedule, I Corps Gas School AEF. History of CWS, AEF, 
App. 13. 



and offensive gas warfare, was started at Langres. 19 Later three other 
training schools were established. 

The most serious problem which faced Fries when he became chief of 
the Gas Service, aside from the task of obtaining personnel, was that of 
providing for a supply of gas masks and other protective equipment for 
American troops. Just prior to Fries' s appointment the British, upon request 
of Captain Boothby, had tested twenty thousand gas masks received from 
the United States and had found them entirely unsuitable for use on the 
battlefield. 20 Fries knew that he would have to look for other sources of 
supply and took immediate steps to purchase British masks, or box respira- 
tors, as they were called, and French M2 masks. 21 Second in importance to 
supplying the Army with masks was the task of equipping special gas troops 
with such weapons as cylinders, mortars, and projectors for the dispersion 

AEF GO 46, 10 Oct 17. (2) Schedule of Instruction, AEF Army Gas School. History 
of CWS, AEF, App. 15. 

20 Amos A. Fries, History of Chemical Warfare Service in France, p. 4. MS. 

21 AEF General Order 53, 3 November 19 17, made the Gas Service responsible for supplying 
all division, corps, and army gas officers with antigas supplies. 



of agents. Fries also made arrangements to purchase these items from the 
British, and it was well that he did, for none were received from the United 
States until just before the close of the war. 22 

Colonel Fries was fortunate in securing the services of a very competent 
officer, Maj. Robert W. Crawford, whom he put in charge of procurement 
and supply activities in the Gas Service early in September 19 17. The 
Procurement and Supply Division, as Crawford's unit came to be known, 
not only handled the purchase of materiel but also drew up plans for and 
supervised the construction of three separate gas depots in the First Army 
Area and four in the Second Army Area. These depots were placed in 
operation in October 1918 under depot officers who were on the staffs of 
the respective army gas officers. 23 Crawford also drew up plans for construc- 
tion of phosgene-manufacturing plants, shell-filling plants, and a gas-mask 
repair plant. The proposed construction of phosgene and shell-filling plants 
in France was given up after Colonel Fries had studied the matter in detail 
and made a recommendation to that effect to General Pershing. The chief 
reason for abandoning those projects was the inability to obtain sufficient 
chlorine in France. 24 But the plan for building the mask repair plant was 
carried to completion, and in November 1917 four officers and no enlisted 
men of the Medical Department arrived from the United States to operate 
this plant. 25 

In addition to personnel, training, and procurement and supply respon- 
sibilities, the Gas Service, AEF, had definite technical responsibilities. In 
carrying out the latter responsibilities, General Fries' headquarters worked 
closely with the War Department. 

Centralizing Chemical Warfare Activities 

The start of centralizing chemical warfare activities within the War 
Department dates from October 1917, when an Office of Gas Service was 
set up, with Col. Charles L. Potter, an Engineer officer, as director. This 
move was an attempt to satisfy the need for an agency in Washington 
which would know everything that was going on with regard to chemical 
warfare both at home and abroad. The Gas Service was to be the "co- 

22 Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, p. 78. 

23 History of CWS, AEF, p. 48. 

M Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, p. 104* 
M Medical Aspects of Gas Warfare, p. 30. 



ordinating agent' ' between the various bureaus and laboratories engaged in 
gas warfare activities, and all communications from abroad dealing with 
gas warfare were to be routed to that office. Provision was made for three 
assistants to the director of the new service, one from the Ordnance Depart- 
ment, another from the Medical Department, and a third from a newly 
created Chemical Service Section of the National Army, established under 
the same directive that established the Gas Service. 26 The Chemical Service 
Section was to consist of forty-seven commissioned and ninety-five enlisted 

The Chemical Service Section, National Army, was created to fill a 
request of General Pershing, repeated five times between 26 September and 
9 December 1917, for a chemical laboratory, complete with equipment and 
personnel, to investigate gases and powders. 27 Professor William H. Walker 
of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was commissioned a 
lieutenant colonel and made chief of the Chemical Service Section. Walker 
set out to recruit qualified personnel for a laboratory unit for overseas duty. 
In January 1918 the first members of this unit, consisting of about twenty- 
five officers and ten men, under the command of Col. Raymond F. Bacon, 
arrived in Puteaux, near Paris, where Colonel Fries had set up a laboratory. 
Here the scientists in uniform conducted experiments on gases until the 
close of the war. To satisfy the need for testing gas shells and fuzes and 
conducting other gas warfare experimentation, a test field was set up near 
Chaumont. This field was named Hanlon Field in September 19 18 in honor 
of 2d Lt Joseph T. Hanlon, the first Chemical Warfare officer to be killed 
in action. 28 

A development in connection with gas research in the theater was the 
inter-Allied gas conferences for the exchange of scientific information. 
Three such conferences were held during the war — in September 1917, 
March 1918, and October 1918. From the point of view of the American 
scientists the last was the most satisfactory, because by that time the 
Americans felt they had come to know as much about gas as their European 
co-workers. At this conference for the first time sat representatives from the 

26 Memo, CofS for TAG, 16 Oct 17, sub: Gas Serv of Army. CWS 322.095/101-140. The 
section of this directive dealing with the establishment of the Chemical Service Section, National 
Army, also appears in War Department General Order 139, 1 November 1917. 

27 Pershing's five cables are repeated verbatim in Memo, Col Potter, Dir Gas Serv, for CofS 
USA, 28 Dec 17. CWS 322.095/141-200. 

38 (i)History of CWS, AEF, pp. 18-19, 56-57- (2) Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, Ch. 
IV. (3) Reports of Commander-in-Chief, A.E.F., Staff Sections and Services, pp. 300—302. 



laboratories in the United States, including Professors Elmer P. Kohler and 
Warren K. Lewis. 29 

Inter-Allied co-operation in the theater was not confined to research but 
extended to supply as well. At the suggestion of Winston S. Churchill, the 
Inter-Allied Commission for Chemical Warfare Supply was set up in May 
1918. 30 Between May and November this commission, on which sat repre- 
sentatives of Great Britain, France, Italy, and the United States, held six 
meetings. By the time of the armistice the commission was said to be 
"gradually assuming the position of a board of directors, regulating pro- 
duction and distribution in accordance with existing needs." 31 

While the Chemical Service Section, National Army, was assisting the 
theater on the research program, Colonel Walker's headquarters was also 
taking steps to co-ordinate gas research activities in the United States. By 
January 191 8 the number of troops doing research under the guidance of 
the Bureau of Mines at the American University Experiment Station and 
various other laboratories had risen to over two hundred officers and more 
than five hundred enlisted men. These were under the jurisdiction of various 
elements of the Army — Ordnance, Engineers, Signal, Sanitary Corps of the 
Medical Department, and the Chemical Service Section, National Army. 
Efficient administration demanded that these troops be placed under one 
Army agency. On 10 January Colonel Potter, chief of the Gas Service, 
recommended to the Chief of Staff that they be included in the Chemical 
Service Section. This request was favorably considered and on 15 February 
the authorized strength of the Chemical Service Section was raised to 227 
officers and 525 enlisted men. 32 

In addition to its research activities, the Chemical Service Section, from 
early 1918 until the end of the war, was called on more and more by the 
Ordnance Department for recommendations on the manufacture of gases at 
Edgewood Arsenal. Thus, while the purpose behind the Chemical Service 
Section was to co-ordinate without integrating and without disturbing func- 
tions of the statutory bureaus of the War Department, it was becoming 
evident that the system was developing serious defects. What was needed was 

38 History of CWS, AEF, p. 52. 

30 ( 1 ) Pershing, My Experience in the World War, I, 357. (2) History of CWS, AEF, p. 27. 
31 History of CWS, AEF, p. 28. 

32 Marston T. Bogert and William H. Walker, History of the Chemical Service Section, Apps. 
C and D. This seven-page manuscript account, exclusive of appendixes, was written in 1919. 



a greater degree of administrative centralization. Two additional factors 
were working toward this end. The large and growing number of scientists 
engaged in research in gas warfare was insisting on recognition. And there 
was increasing pressure by various officials for a responsible gas warfare 
organization within the zone of interior to parallel the one in the theater of 

The Chemical Warfare Service, National Army 

In the spring of 1918 separate proposals were made both in the United 
States and in France to establish a gas corps. On 17 April Lt. Col. Marston 
T. Bogert, who had succeeded Colonel Walker as chief of the Chemical 
Service Section, recommended to the Chief of Staff that the section be 
replaced by a "chemical corps" which would be on a "basis more nearly like 
that occupied by the Engineering and Medical branches of the Army/' 33 
In this way, Bogert contended, chemists in the Army would be under the 
guidance and control of chemists. This suggestion was not favorably con- 
sidered. 3 * On 1 May Colonel Fries recommended to General Pershing that 
a gas corps be established in the AEF, Fries gave as his chief reason the 
very compelling fact that for the past year the enemy had been using gas 
as an essential part of every offensive and that the Gas Service, AEF, simply 
did not have the necessary administrative power to prosecute an effective gas 
program. 35 Pershing was favorably impressed by Fries's argument and on 3 
June he cabled to the Chief of Staff in the United States requesting that a 
gas corps be activated. 36 This request, like Bogert's was not favorably con- 
sidered. While it took no action on setting up a separate chemical or gas 
corps, the War Department did take definite steps in the spring of 1918 to 
establish a more strongly centralized organization for gas warfare. What 
was especially needed at that time was a "name" officer of rank and per- 
sonality who could overcome obstacles and break log jams. This proved to 
be Maj. Gen. William L. Sibert, one of the builders of the Panama Canal 

33 Memo, Bogert, Cml Serv Sec NA, for CofS USA, 17 Apr 18, sub: Cml Serv Sec Pers. 
Bogert and Walker, History of the Chemical Service Section, App. C 1. 

34 1 st Ind, 6 May 18, to memo cited Note 33 above. Bogert and Walker, Hist of the Chemical 
Service Section, App. C 3. 

36 Ltr, C Gas Serv AEF to CinC AEF (Through: CG SOS), 1 May 18, sub: Reorganization 
of Gas Serv. History of CWS, AEF, App. 37. 

36 Cable 1240-S, CG AEF to CofS USA, 3 Jun 18. History of CWS, AEF, App. 38. 



and lately commander of the ist 
Division in France. Appointment 
of Sibert as director of the Gas 
Service on n May 1918 was quickly 
followed by a number of adminis- 
trative changes in line with the 
trend toward integration of chemi- 
cal warfare functions which had 
been evident for some time. 37 On 
25 June 1 91 8 the President trans- 
ferred the control experimental 
station at American University 
from the Bureau of Mines to the 
War Department. 38 Three days 
later the War Department formally 
established the Chemical Warfare 
Service, National Army, and sweep- 

Maj. Gen. William L. Sibert, first ingly specified the transfer to the 
Chief of the Chemical Warfare Serv- new organization of all facilities 
ke } June i 9 i8-February 1920, ^ functions app l y i ng to toxic 

chemicals. 39 

In World War I the United States had to rely on its allies, particularly 
the British, for chemical munitions. This situation was rapidly being cor- 
rected late in 1918. Manufacturing facilities in the Astoria section of New 
York City were by then capable of meeting all the requirements for protec- 
tive equipment, and the production of toxic agents at the Edgewood Arsenal 
plants was totaling 675 tons per week. 40 Responsibility for the production of 
defensive items was put in the Gas Defense Production Division, CWS, 
headed by Col. Bradley Dewey, while supervision of toxics was placed in the 
Gas Offense Production Division, of which Col. William H. Walker was 
chief. Technical activities were divided between two divisions, a Research 
Division, headed by Col. George A. Burrell, and a Development Division, 

87 Colonel Potter was succeeded as Chief, Gas Service, on 30 January 1918 by Mr. Arthur 
Hudson Marks who served only a few days. Colonel Walker was Acting Chief, Gas Service, from 
that time until Sibert's appointment on n May. See Rpt of CWS, 1918, p. 5. 

88 Executive Order 2894, 25 Jun 18. 

89 WD GO 62, 28 Jun 18. 

40 Crowell, America's Munitions, pp. 407-09, 426-27. 



Chemical Plants, Edgewood Arsenal, By 1918, toxic agents totaling 6j$ 
tons per week were being manufactured here. 

headed by Col. Frank M. Dorsey. To test gas munitions the War Department 
established a proving ground at Lakehurst, New Jersey, and adjoining this 
proving ground activated a training camp for gas troops, Camp Kendrick, 
under the Training Division. All activities connected with the medical aspects 
of gas warfare were placed in a Medical Division, headed by Col. William 
J. L. Lyster. 41 

The very day that the CWS was formally established, the War Depart- 
ment cabled Pershing informing him of the creation of the CWS and 
requesting him to cable back the names of the officers to be transferred to 
the new service as well as the numbers and grades of officers and men re- 
quired in France. 42 The transfer of troops to the new service in the theater 
was made official on 16 July when an authorized strength of 916 officers 
and 7,264 enlisted men was approved for the Overseas Divsion, CWS, 
which was to be headed by a brigadier general. 43 Colonel Fries was there- 
upon raised to that rank. Later, the War Department, anticipating an in- 

41 Rpts of CWS, 1918 and 1919. 

"Cable 1622-R, McCain to Pershing, 28 Jun 18. History of CWS, AEF, App. 39. 
48 Cable 1724-R, McCain to Pershing, 16 Jul 18- History of CWS, AEF, App. 41. 



crease in the use of gas, authorized two additional gas regiments. This action 
raised the authorized strength of the Overseas Division to 1,315 officers and 
17,205 enlisted men. 44 Because of the sudden collapse of the enemy nothing 
approximating that strength was ever attained, and as of 11 November 1918 
the actual number of officers and men in the Overseas Division totaled 630 
and 2,800 respectively. This compared with actual strength of the entire 
CWS on that date of 1,680 officers and 18,838 enlisted men. 45 

General Fries's headquarters, like the office of General Sibert, was 
organized along functional lines. Since the theater naturally placed greater 
emphasis on actual employment of gas on the battlefield, two divisions were 
set up for that purpose, an Offense Division and a Defense Division. Other 
divisions of the CWS, AEF, were: Procurement and Supply, Technical, 
Medical, and Intelligence. 

With the establishment of the CWS the gas and flame regiment (the 
30th Engineers) became the 1st Gas Regiment. The regiment had been 
activated in August 1917 under Maj. Earl J. Atkisson at Camp American 
University, Washington. In January 1918 the first two companies, A and B, 
arrived in France, where, through an arrangement between Fries and Maj. 
Gen. C H. Foulkes of the British Army, they were given intensive training 
by the British Special Brigade, a gas brigade. Following this training they 
accompanied the British on actual gas operations on the field of battle. 
When two other companies arrived in France in March the officers and men 
of Companies A and B assisted in training the new arrivals. The facilities 
of the five gas schools in France were also utilized in training these and 
subsequent gas troops arriving from the United States. 46 

Troops of the 1st Gas Regiment were employed in operations on the 
Western Front during the summer and fall of 191 8. Their biggest engage- 
ment was in the Meuse-Argonne offensive in which six companies of the 
regiment saw action. In this campaign gas troops expended some 489 Stokes 
mortar gas shells, 130 Livens projector gas drums, 206 Livens projector 
drums filled with high explosives, and over 2,800 smoke and thermite 
bombs. 47 

After the close of hostilities the War Department made a rapid start in 
demobilizing CWS troops and facilities. By June 1919 the troop strength of 

44 Cable 2027-R, Harris to Pershing, 7 Oct 18. History of CWS, AEF, App. 60. 
411 Rpt of CWS, 1919, PP* 14-15. 

"(1) James Thayer Addison, The Story of the First Gas Regiment (Boston and New York: 
Houghton Mifflin, 1919), Ch. III. (2) Maj. Gen. C H. Foulkes, Gas, The Story of the Gas 
Brigade (Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1934), p- 298. 

* T History of CWS, AEF, p. 67. 



the CWS had been reduced to 328 officers and 261 enlisted men, the govern- 
ment gas-mask factory in New York had been demobilized, 670 contracts 
had been adjusted, over a million dollars worth of surplus property had 
been disposed of, and the plants at Edgewood and Lakehurst were being 
put on a peacetime basis/ 8 The majority of government-owned chemical 
plants throughout the country were yet to be sold or transferred to other 
government bureaus; that was a task which would run well into the following 
year. 49 

The War Department general order establishing the Chemical Warfare 
Service had provided that it would continue until six months after the 
termination of hostilities or until the general order itself was amended, 
modified, or rescinded. An act of Congress of 11 July 1919 extended the life 
of the CWS until 30 June 1920. 50 On 28 November 1919 the War Depart- 
ment defined the CWS peacetime mission as follows : 

(a) The maintenance of a competent body of chemical warfare specialists with 
facilities for continuous research and experimentation. 

(b) The maintenance of records. 

(c) Provision for keeping in touch with civilian agencies for chemical research 
and chemical industries capable of being converted for the production of wartime 

(d) The maintenance of such existing Government plants as may be decided 

(e) The continuous training of the Army in chemical warfare. 

(f) The maintenance of a supply of chemical warfare material sufficient to meet 
the initial requirements of the Army in time of war. 51 

Congress meanwhile began to study changes needed in military organiza- 
tion in the light of recent war experiences. Since the establishment of the 
Signal Corps in i860 there had been no additions to the War Department 
technical services. 52 One of the questions now to be decided was, what 
should be done about Chemical Warfare? This matter was examined care- 
fully by the military affairs committees of the Senate and the House of 

The recommendations of the officials of the War Department varied. 
Some suggested that the wartime CWS be abolished and its work appor- 

43 Rpt of CWS, 1919, PP- 15, 51. 
49 Rpt of CWS, 1920, p. 15. 

50 (i) Genera] Order No. 62, 28 June 1918. (2) 41 Stat. 104. 
51 Rpt of CWS, 1920, p. 5. 
5! 12 Stat. 50. 



tioned among the older established services. Others felt that the CWS should 
be retained. Newton D. Baker, the Secretary of War,- believed that peace- 
time activities in this field would be principally in research and development, 
duties which the Corps of Engineers could handle. 53 The Chief of Staff, 
General Peyton C. March, who abhorred gas warfare, also felt that the 
Corps of Engineers should be given responsibility for preparations for gas 
warfare, which in peacetime should be restricted to its defensive aspects. 54 
General Pershing, like most older line officers, disliked the idea of using 
toxic gas but he was not adamant on the subject; in fact, he was rather 
inclined toward retaining the Chemical Warfare Service as a separate 
department. 55 

The first powerful voice raised in support of an independent chemical 
service in the Army was that of Benedict Crowell, the Assistant Secretary 
of War and the man principally responsible for the success of the munitions 
program of 1917-18. Crowell, who had been educated as a chemist and 
believed that future warfare would depend largely on the work of men of 
science, strongly urged that the wartime CWS organization be made 
permanent. 56 This view of course was echoed by the two officers most 
closely identified with gas warfare in World War I, Sibert and Fries. Fries 
was particularly active. Less than two weeks after the close of hostilities he 
had obtained General Pershing's approval for his return to the United States 
in order to work for a permanent CWS. 57 He was a personal friend of both 
the chairman of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs, Senator George 
E. Chamberlain of Oregon, and the chairman of the House Committee on 
Military Affairs, Representative Julius Kahn of California. Fries lost no 
opportunity in conveying to those gentlemen his strong conviction of the 
need for a permanent chemical bureau in the Army. 58 

" S. Com. on Military Affairs, 66th Cong., ist Sess., Hearings on S. 2715, A BUI To Re- 
organize and Increase the Efficiency of the United States Army, and for Other Purposes, 19 
Aug. 19. 

04 (i) H. Com. on Military Affairs, 66th Cong., ist Sess., Hearings on H. Res. 8287, A Bill 
To Reorganize and Increase the Efficiency of the United States Army, and for Other Purposes, 
5 Sep 19, I, 53-54. (2) Peyton C. Marsh, The Nation at War (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday- 
Doran, 1932), pp. 333-36. 

65 H. Com. on Military Affairs, 66th Cong., ist Sess., Hearings on H. Res. 8287, A Bill To 
Reorganize and Increase the Efficiency of the United States Army, and for Other Purposes, 1 Nov 
19, I, 1507—08, 

06 H. Com. on Military Affairs, 66th Cong., ist and 2d Sess., Hearings on H. Res. 8287, A 
Bill To Reorganize and Increase the Efficiency of the United States Army, and for Other Purposes, 
9 Jan 20, II, 1804-05. 

51 Fries, History of CWS in France. 

58 Fries interv, 4 Aug 55. 



Establishment of a chemical service as a permanent bureau of the War 
Department was also strongly advocated by leading chemical scientists and 
industrialists, who had come to regard the existence of such a service as a 
recognition of the growing importance of chemistry in the national econ- 
omy. 59 The desire to assist these groups doubtless helped influence the de- 
cision of Congress in 1920 to write into its revision of the National Defense 
Act of 1 9 1 6 a new section starting with the words: "There is hereby created 
a Chemical Warfare Service/' 60 

The purpose of the wartime Chemical Warfare Service had been to 
handle all matters relating to toxic agents and ammunition together with 
gas defense material. Incendiaries and smokes had not been mentioned in 
the wartime charter of the Chemical Warfare Service although before the 
end of the war it had actually done considerable work on both these items. 
This fact is reflected in the wording of the revised National Defense Act, 
which accordingly enlarged the CWS field. Thus was completed the shift in 
emphasis from the "gas" service of 1917 to the "chemical" service of 1920. 

The function of the new branch included the development, procurement, 
and supply of "all smoke and incendiary materials, all toxic gases, and all 
gas defense appliances." These duties were further extended to include "the 
supervision of the training of the Army in chemical warfare, both offensive 
and defensive . . . ; the organization, equipment, training, and operation of 
special gas troops, and such other duties as the President may from time to 
time prescribe." 61 The Chemical Warfare Service therefore took on service- 
wide training functions, together with responsibility for combatant troops, 
in addition to technical supply duties. For this work the National Defense 
Act authorized a chief of the service with the rank of brigadier general, one 
hundred officers, and twelve hundred enlisted men. 

The Chemical Warfare Service was a product of the changing technology 
of war. Only reluctantly did the War Department provide for its activation. 
Many years would elapse before the new organization would be fully 
accepted in the military family. In fact, it would require the experience of 
a second world war to convince the War Department of the real need for a 
separate chemical service. 

"See statement of Charles H. Herty, editor of the Journal of Industrial and Engineering 
Chemistry, in S. Com. on Military Affairs, 66th Cong., ist Sess., Hearings on S. 2715, A Bill To 
Reorganize and Increase the Efficiency of the United States Army, and for Other Purposes, p. 408. 

60 Public Law 242, 66th Cong., Sec. 12a. War Department Bulletin 25, 9 June 1920, reproduces 
Section 12a in toto. 

fll Ibid. 


The Years Between the Wars 

The Issue of Gas Warfare 

Announcement of the creation of the Chemical Warfare Service in 1920 
as a branch of the permanent Military Establishment presumably settled an 
issue that had been discussed heatedly and at length. Actually, debate over 
functions of the CWS was to continue for many years. This perennial con- 
troversy had its roots in two spheres. One was the policy of the United 
States on gas warfare. The other was the reaction within the War Depart- 
ment itself to gas warfare. 

For centuries the use of poisons for military purposes has been generally 
disavowed by civilized nations. 1 But not until the end of the nineteenth 
century, when the science of chemistry had advanced to a point where the 
use of toxics in warfare was being seriously considered, was the question 
raised as to whether toxics loaded into ammunition should be considered 
poisonous. Discussion of this point was listed on the agenda of an inter- 
national conference, which, upon the initiative of the Russians, met at The 
Hague during the summer of 1899. 

The proposal offered for consideration at the meeting would have bound 
the contracting powers to agree "to abstain from the use of projectiles, the 
sole object of which is the diffusion of asphyxiating or deleterious gases." 2 
In instructions to the American delegates before they left to attend this con- 
ference, Secretary of State John Hay had stated, 'The expediency of restrain- 
ing the inventive genius of our people in the direction of devising means 
of defense is by no means clear . . . the delegates are therefore enjoined 
not to give the weight of their influence to the promotion of projects the 

1 Hugo Grotius, De Jure Belli ac Pacts, 1625, trans. Francis W. Kelsey (Oxford: Clarendon 
Press, 1925), III, 651-52. 

1 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Division of International Law, Pamphlet 8, 
The Hague Declaration (IV, 2) of rfipp Concerning Asphyxiating Gases (Washington: The 
Endowment, 1915). 



realization of which is so uncertain. " 3 The United States therefore did not 
subscribe to the antigas agreement, although a number of nations did. 4 

The refusal of the United States to participate in formal measures to 
outlaw the employment of toxic chemicals was not based on lack of sympathy 
with the purposes of the proposal. It was the result, rather, of unwillingness 
to act in the uncertain light of what was then only a nebulous possibility. 
Moreover, since The Hague antigas declaration specifically outlawed only 
projectiles, its phrasing could be interpreted as a stimulus to the devising of 
other means of dissemination. Because of this loophole the German attack 
at Ypres in April 1915, when chlorine gas was released from charged 
cylinders, did not violate the letter of The Hague declaration. 5 

The Hague antigas declaration was a casualty of the Ypres attack even 
though it did not specifically apply. Both the Central and Allied Powers 
developed and used toxics which were disseminated by a number of means, 
including projectiles, throughout the war. The spirit of The Hague declara- 
tion lived, however, to become a part of the effective Allied antigas prop- 
aganda weapon which in the period between the wars was to stimulate 
widespread public indignation against the "barbaric" and "inhuman" em- 
ployment of toxics by the enemy. 6 

After the war there was wide reaction against use of gas in future 
military conflicts. The peace treaties signed by the Central Powers all con- 
tained the clause, "the use of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases and all 
analogous liquids, materials or devices being prohibited, their manufacture 
and importation are strictly forbidden/' 7 This wording presumably applied 
only to the defeated states. Subsequent agreements between the Allies and 
other powers were needed to insure universal prohibition of gas warfare. 

The policy of the United States in the matter of toxic chemicals was 
clearly expressed at the Conference on the Limitation of Armament which 
met in Washington in 1921. This question was one considered earlier by a 
subcommittee on land warfare of which General Pershing was chairman. 

3 Ltr, Secy State to Hon. Andrew D. White et al., 18 Apr 1899, in Special Missions, Depart- 
ment of State, Vol. IV, October 15, 1886-June 20, 1906. NA. 

4 The Hague antigas agreement was signed and ratified by twenty-five powers. 

5 Cyrus Bernstein, "The Law of Chemical Warfare/' The George Washington Law Review, 
X (June 1942), 889-915. Portions of this article were reproduced in Chemical Warfare Bulletin, 
XXVIII (October 1942), 174-86. 

fl For details on antigas propaganda, see: James M. Read, Atrocity Propaganda; 7974—1979 
(New Haven: Yale University Press, 1941), pp. 6, 95-99; and Horace C. Peterson, Propaganda 
for War (Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1939), P- 63. 

7 Green H. Hackworth, Digest of International Law (Washington: Dept. of State, 1943), p. 



Pershing's group recommended that "chemical warfare should be abolished 
among nations as abhorrent to civilization/' 8 Another report submitted at 
this time by the General Board of the Navy stated that it was believed "to 
be sound policy to prohibit gas warfare in every form and against every 
objective/' 9 Both of these reports were considered by, and no doubt strongly 
influenced, the U.S. delegation at the Washington arms conference in 
formulating its proposal to prohibit the use of poison gas in war. 

The U.S. proposal, incorporated as Article 5 in the Washington arms 
conference treaty covering the Use of Submarines and Noxious Gases in 
War, first pointed out that the employment of toxic war gases had been 
condemned by world opinion and prohibited in numerous existing treaties. 
It then announced that the contracting parties, "to the end that this prohibi- 
tion shall be universally accepted as a part of international law binding 
alike the conscience and practice of nations, declare their assent to such 
prohibition, agree to be bound thereby as between themselves and invite all 
other civilized nations to adhere thereto." 10 The treaty was never ratified by 
France, one of the principal signatories, and therefore never came into 
effect. 11 It remains the only antigas convention the ratification of which the 
U.S. Senate has ever approved. 

The proposition of outlawing gas warfare was revived at a conference 
held in 1925 at Geneva to consider regulating the international traffic in 
arms. Here the U.S. delegation introduced and obtained general agreement 
to what has been called the Geneva Gas Protocol. This instrument, after 
reiterating a general condemnation of the use of toxic agents in war, 
declared that the contracting parties had agreed to prohibit the use of such 
materials in the future and had further agreed "to extend this prohibition 
to the use of bacteriological methods of warfare and ... to be bound as 
between themselves according to the terms of this declaration/* 12 Although 
the U.S. delegation signed this protocol, the Senate refused to ratify it. 

A cross section of opinion in the United States on the military usefulness 
of gas warfare and the prospects of preventing its employment by inter- 

8 Quoted by Sen. William E. Borah (R., Idaho) in Congressional Record, Vol. 68, Pt. I, p. 

•Ibid., p. 143. 

10 U.S. Department of State, Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 
1922 (Washington: Dept. of State, 1938), I, 276, hereafter cited as Dept. of State, Foreign Rela- 
tions of the United States. 

11 The other signatories were Great Britain, the United States, Italy, and Japan. France failed 
to sign this treaty because of the fact that it also greatly restricted submarine warfare. 

"Dept. of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1925 (Washington: Dept. of State, 
1940), I, 89-90. 



national agreement was brought out in Senate debates on the ratification 
of the Geneva Gas Protocol. 13 Some leading military figures were quoted as 
expressing agreement with eliminating gas as a weapon of war. Considerable 
opposition to ratification came from civilian groups, especially veterans' 
organizations. Despite the fact that the Senate did not approve it, the 
protocol was supported in principle by the executive departments of the 
U.S. Government. By the time World War II began, the Geneva Gas Protocol 
was adhered to by forty-two nations and was the most generally accepted 
expression of international opinion relating to the use of toxic agents in war. 

The influence of national policy and of international agreements in limit- 
ing employment of toxic agents in war was of obvious concern to the War 
Department. This matter was clarified by Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg 
on 7 December 1926 in a letter supporting continued military preparations 
in this field: 

All governments recognize that it is incumbent upon them to be fully prepared 
as regards chemical warfare, and especially as regards defense against it, irrespective 
of any partial or general international agreements looking to the prohibition of the 
actual use of such warfare. I have never seen any proposal seriously advanced by any 
government to provide that national preparation for the use of and for defense 
against chemical warfare, if such warfare should be used by an enemy contrary to 
treaty agreements, should be abolished or curtailed in the slightest. 14 

In agreement with this statement was the joint Army-Navy policy on chemical 
warfare which in 1934 was framed in these words: 

The United States will make all necessary preparations for the use of chemical 
warfare from the outbreak of war. The use of chemical warfare, including the use of 
toxic agents, from the inception of hostilities, is authorized, subject to such restrictions 
or prohibitions as may be contained in any duly ratified international convention or 
conventions, which at that time may be binding upon the United States and the 
enemy's state or states. 15 

All Presidents whose administrations spanned the interwar years sought 
to eliminate gas as a military weapon. Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. 
Roosevelt, who saw eye to eye on this issue, were particularly outspoken. 
President Hoover steadily urged elimination before the disarmament de- 
liberations that took place while he was in office. By the time of President 
Roosevelt's inauguration the prospect of effective agreement among nations 
on the curtailment of armaments appeared to have vanished. In line, possibly, 

13 Congressional Record, Vol. 68, Pt. I, pp. 141-54, 226-29, 363—68. 

14 Ibid., p. 366. 

1B Ltr, Jt Ping Com to JB, 17 Oct 34, sub: Use of Cml Agents, JB 325, Ser 542. 



with this trend, Congress in 1937 passed a bill (S. 1284) to change the 
designation of the Chemical Warfare Service to Chemical Corps. 16 This the 
President promptly vetoed. The reasons given in the Roosevelt veto message 
clearly expressed the White House attitude and, ipso facto, that of the U.S. 

It has been and is the policy of this Government to do everything in its power 
to outlaw the use of chemicals in warfare. Such use is inhuman and contrary to what 
modern civilization should stand for. 

I am doing everything in my power to discourage the use of gases and other 
chemicals in any war between nations. While, unfortunately, the defensive necessities 
of the United States call for study of the use of chemicals in warfare, I do not want 
the Government of the United States to do anything to aggrandize or make permanent 
any special bureau of the Army or the Navy engaged in these studies. I hope the time 
will come when the Chemical Warfare Service can be entirely abolished. 

To dignify this Service by calling it the "Chemical Corps" is, in my judgment, 
contrary to a sound public policy. 17 

The War Department and Gas Warfare 

Beginning in 1921 and continuing until 1941, the mission of the Chemical 
Warfare Service was the subject of almost continuous debate by the War 
Department General Staff (WDGS) . During these years there was scarcely 
a time when the CWS felt that it enjoyed undisputed membership on the 
War Department team. Hence a great deal of energy was continually ex- 
pended by the CWS in defending its statutory position. This fact had con- 
siderable bearing on the development of the new service. 

The questions most frequently raised by the War Department were: 
Could the Chemical Warfare Service be eliminated and its duties distributed 
among other services? Could the Chemical Warfare Service be relieved of 
combat functions and its activities limited to technical and supply duties and 
to defensive training ? 

In 1924 the WDGS phrased a sentence which, constantly repeated in 
later years, came to be generally accepted as a statement of policy and a 
guide to the activities of the CWS: "Our peacetime preparations in chemical 
warfare will be based on opposing effectively any enemy employing chemical 
weapons." 18 

J * This change, as already indicated, was eventually effected by Public Law 607, 79th Congress, 
2 August 1946. 

17 Copy in CWS 011/1-20. 

"Ltr, TAG to C CWS, 7 Jan 24, sub: CWS's Functions. AG 321.94 (1-2-24) (Misc.) M-C. 



This statement was based on a War Department policy announcement 
which had attempted to clarify preceding general orders and other instruc- 
tions relating to the establishment of the Chemical Warfare Service, par- 
ticularly in the light of current developments toward international limitation 
of armaments. It had the merit of clearly stating an obviously desirable 
objective, yet the means to be followed to this end proved to be subject to 
widely varying interpretations. Some of the difficulties being encountered 
were brought to the attention of the War Department by the Chief, CWS 
(Maj. Gen. Amos A. Fries), in 1926, when some liberalizing of existing 
policy as to offensive means was proposed. 19 The staff study of CWS func- 
tions which followed carefully reviewed all the preceding actions and 
pointed to still further investigations that needed to be made but did not 
lead to immediate change in standing instructions. 20 

The War Department by this time had definitely veered away from 
planning the type of positional warfare characteristic of the campaigns in 
France in 1917 and 191 8 and with which large-scale gas operations staged 
by chemical troops seemed intimately associated. Consequently, the existence 
of special gas troops was increasingly challenged, and the employment of 
gas by branches other than the CWS was increasingly favored by the staff. 
The CWS view was that gas had important uses in a war of movement as well 
as in static operations and that technical considerations necessitated the em- 
ployment of special gas troops in either situation. These differing attitudes 
were never wholly reconciled, although at times the General Staff view ap- 
pears to have been maintained somewhat less resolutely than that of the 
Chemical Warfare Service. 

The mission of the Chemical Warfare Service with respect to its principal 
preoccupation, gas warfare, was therefore somewhat complex. Primarily the 
CWS was expected to provide insurance for American military forces against 
the shock of sudden gas attack. Hand in hand with this mission went re- 
sponsibility for maintaining a state of readiness for quick retaliation. These 
two constituted explicit responsibilities. In a broader sense, an implicit func- 
tion of the CWS was to provide military support for a national policy, that 
of dissuading others from resorting to the gas weapon. This was accom- 
plished, as matters turned out, more by the strength of U.S. preparedness 
for toxic warfare than by the cogency of political agreements. 

19 (i) Ltr, C CWS to TAG, 9 Jun 26, sub: Functions of CWS. AG 321-94- (2) Public Law 
457, signed 24 February 1925, raised the rank of the Chief, CWS, from brigadier general to 
major general. 

20 Memo, ACofS G— 3 for CofS, 5 Nov 26, sub: CWS Functions. AG 321.94, Sec. 1, Functions 
of CWS. 



Carrying Out the Peacetime Mission: 1920-39 

To supplement the National Defense Act statement of CWS functions 
the War Department spelled them out in more detailed fashion via a series 
of general orders issued in 1920 and 192 1. On 28 August 1920, for example, 
it denned the specific duties of the Chemical Warfare Service and the 
Ordnance Department with regard to the investigation, development, pro- 
curement, and supply of munitions: Ordnance retained the responsibility for 
the design, procurement, and supply of chemical shells, grenades, and 
bombs; the CWS was to fill them with gas, smoke, or incendiary agents. 
Later it defined the relationship of the CWS to the corps areas and, still 
later, outlined the storage and issue responsibilities and specified that the 
chemical warfare training of the Army be along both offensive and defensive 
lines. 21 

The signing by the U.S. delegation at the Washington arms conference 
of the proposal to outlaw gas warfare led the War Department in mid- 192 2 
to modify its policy on the functions of the CWS. 22 The General Staff 
rescinded provisions of several general orders and promulgated two new 
general orders which suspended all work on toxic agents and restricted 
CWS activities in gas warfare to purely defensive measures. 23 Although the 
War Department eventually modified these directives, the change in policy 
which they represented was to exert a retarding influence on the CWS for 
many years. 

For a decade and a half after the close of World War I appropriations 
for national defense were decidedly limited. 2 * This was the era when the 
government and a good many citizens held high hopes for the early elimina- 
tion of armed conflicts. It was the U.S. Government that initiated the call 
for the Washington conference of 1921-22, and it was an American Sec- 
retary of State who was coauthor of the Pact of Paris of 27 August 1928, 
aimed at outlawing war as an instrument of national policy (the so-called 
Kellogg-Briand agreement). During the 1920's the President and the 
Congress were insisting on economy in all branches of the national govern- 

31 WD GO 75, 23 Dec 20; WD GO 76, 28 Dec 20; WD GO 2, 14 Jan 21; WD GO 21, 21 
May 21 ; WD GO 42, 17 Aug 21 ; WD GO 54, 28 Aug 1920. 

" As indicated above, although the U.S. delegation signed this treaty and the U.S. Senate 
approved its ratification, the treaty never became operative. 

M WD GO 24, 10 Jun 22, and WD GO 26, 17 Jun 22. 

* Mark Skinner Watson, Chief of Staff; Prewar Plans and Preparations, UNITED STATES 
ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington: 1950) (hereafter cited as Prewar Plans), Ch II. 



Table 1 — Congressional Appropriations for CWS, 1922-46 

Fiscal year 




Fiscal year 




d 624,525,000 

* 1922 was the first year for which funds were appropriated directly for the CWS. From 1918 to 1922 funds for the CWS 
were transferred from, or included in, other appropriations. 

b This low figure is due to the fact that sufficient funds were appropriated in the previous fiscal year to take care of CWS 
needs in 1945. 

e Surplus Appropriation Rescission Acts (P.L. 301, 8 Feb 46 and P.L. 391, 27 May 46) rescinded $1,024,351,000 of unex- 
pended CWS appropriations for the years 1942-1946. 

d This appropriation was made only two and one-half months before V-J Day (2 Sep 1945) and none of these funds were 
ever expended. 

Source: Budget of the United States, transmitted to Congress by the President. 

ment Following the stock-market crash of 1929 and the resultant depression, 
economy in the use of government funds became more of a watchword than 

If the Military Establishment as a whole felt the effects of the trend 
toward economy, the Chemical Warfare Service felt it in even greater degree. 
Since the necessity for a separate organization to supervise chemical warfare 
functions was seriously questioned by some of the highest ranking officers 
in the General Staff, the War Department was not prone to be oversolicitous 
for the welfare of the new service. The meager resources of the CWS until 
mid- 1 940 in terms of appropriations and personnel strength are indicated in 
Tables 1,(23 an ^B A glance at | Table 2I will disclose that the quota of 101 
officers and 1,200 enlisted men provided for in the National Defense Act 
of 1920 was not filled until after the close of fiscal year 1940. 

Peacetime Organization 

Within the confines of limited appropriations and personnel, the 
Chemical Warfare Service carried out its restricted peacetime mission. Ad- 



Table 2 — Military Strength of the CWS, 1918-46 a 

30 June 


officers b 


30 June 


offj«r8 b 


1921 _ 
1923 _ 
































* For detailed figures on CWS military personnel strength in Woild War II see Appendtxes[A| and | B.| 

b Figures represent total strength reported as CWS by all commands and theaters. Officers of other branches or without 
branch assignments may have been serving with the CWS, but the number is judged not to be of significant size. Includes 
Regular Army, Reserve, Army of the U.S., and National Guard officers on active duty (except trainees) under the juris- 
diction of the Chief, CWS. 

« Includes enlisted men reported as CWS. 

<• Figures as of 11 November 1918. 

• Figures as of 30 June from 1919 to 1946. 

Source: Figures from 1918 to 1921 were taken from the annual Teport of the Chief, CWS, to the Secretary of War. Figures 
1922-1941 from Tables, Actual Strength of the Military Personnel of the Army, Annual Reports of the Secretary of War to 
the President, 1922-41. Figures 1942-46 from draft table, Total Male Strength of the Army by Arm or Service, prepared 
by Statistics Br, Program Review and Analysis Div, Off, Comptroller of the Army. 

ministratively, the CWS was a supply service of the Army, responsible to 
the War Department General Staff and to the Office of the Assistant Sec- 
retary of War for procurement and procurement planning activities. The 
Chief, CWS, was of course responsible for the organization and administra- 
tion of his own service. In 1920 he set up an organization consisting of five 
divisions: Procurement and Supply, Technical, Medical, Industrial Relations 
(later called Procurement Planning), and Plans, Training, and Operations. 2 * 
Except for the elimination of the Medical Division in 1932, this organization 
remained substantially unchanged throughout the peacetime period. From 

w Rpt of CWS, 1921. 



Table 3 — Chemical Warfare Service Civilian Personnel Strength, 
November 1918-December 1945 

End of month 

Total OCCWS Field 

End of month 

Total OCCWS Field 

1918 11 November... 

1923 June 

1928 June 

1931 June 

1939 September 


1940 March 




1941 March 








1942 January 







1942 June 






1943 January 





1944 March 



1945 March 





ft For breakdown in this period see Table 6 where totals vary slightly, probably reflecting a later adjustment. 

Source: Figures 1918-1931 compiled from reports, "Civ Pers Strength," prepared by the Office of the Assistant and Chief 
Clerk to the SW. Figures 1939-1945 compiled from Office of the Comptroller, Dept of the Army, Statistics Br (Squier/Penta- 
gon 2B673) from: (1) "Monthly Rpt of Pers Activities," WDAGO; (2) "Monthly Rpt of Authorizations and Strength for 
Pers Operating the Z of I Establishment," WDGS Contl Symbol SM-P2-39; (3) "Monthly Rpt of Pers Authorizations and 
Strengths for Establishments in Area of District of Columbia and Arlington County, Va.," WDMB Form 114, WDGS 
SM-P2-40; (4) draft reports of War Dept Monthly Strength in Statistics Br, Program Review and Analysis Div, Office of 
the Comptroller of the Army. 

1920 until 1938 a dozen officers and a score of civilians constituted the entire 
personnel of the Chief's office. 26 

Each of the Chiefs made his own special contribution to the develop- 
ment of the Chemical Warfare Service. General Sibert devoted his mature 
judgment to the task of organizing the new service in World War I, and 
he had much to do with marshaling the sentiment which finally prevailed 
in 1920, when the decision was taken to make the emergency CWS organiza- 
tion a permanent element of the Army. General Fries, during his long 

2(1 The Chiefs office was located in the Munitions Building in Washington, D.C. 



tenure as Chief (1920-29), continuously displayed the aggressive capability 
that had made him conspicuously successful as head of the AEF Gas Service. 
He withstood all opposition from without while he molded the CWS into 
its ultimate peacetime form. During the next four years Maj. Gen. Harry 
L. Gilchrist brought to the Office of the Chief (OC) the prestige of an 
internationally known authority on gas casualties. A medical officer, he con- 
tinued to emphasize, as had his predecessors, the scientific aspects of chemical 
warfare. Gilchrist's successor, Maj. Gen. Claude E. Brigham, an artillery- 
man, had executive and command experience which gave him a thorough 
insight into the strength and weakness of the Chemical Warfare Service as 
it existed in the middle 1930*5. It was during BrighanVs tour that the pros- 
pect of another major war began to take shape, and it became his responsi- 
bility to initiate a more vigorous preparedness program. To Maj. Gen. 
Walter C. Baker, who served from May 1937 to April 1941, fell the task of 
carrying out and extending this preparedness program into the emergency 

Assisting the Chief, CWS, were an Advisory Committee of fifteen civilian 
authorities in chemistry and chemical engineering, a CWS Technical Com- 
mittee, and a Chemical Warfare Board. The Advisory Committee, which was 
unofficial in capacity, was set up in the American Chemical Society in 1920. 
The members of the committee met periodically with CWS scientists and 
administrators to discuss policies and problems of research and development. 
The CWS Technical Committee, also set up in 1920, came into existence as 
the result of a need for co-ordination among interested branches of the 
armed forces in the development and standardization of chemical warfare 
items. 27 On the Technical Committee sat representatives of CWS and of the 
following: Field Artillery, Coast Artillery, Infantry, Air Corps, Cavalry, 
General Staff, National Guard Bureau, and the Assistant Secretaries of the 
War and Navy Departments. The Chemical Warfare Board was established 
at Edgewood Arsenal in 1923 to study and co-ordinate technical develop- 
ments with tactical doctrine and methods. 28 

Research, development, training, manufacturing, and storage functions 
were centered at Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland. There in 1920 a functional 
type of organization was set up consisting of the following units: the 

27 OC CWS SO 74, 31 Mar 20, 

38 OC CWS SO 19, 21 May 23. For details on the Chemical Warfare Board, s ee Leo P. Brophy, 
Wyndham D. Miles, and Rexmond C. Cochrane, The Chemical Warfare Service: [From Labo ratory"! 
to Field, a volume in preparation for the series UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II. 

Chemical Warfare Service Chiefs, February 1920-April 1941. Top left, 
Aid/. Gen. Amos A. Fries, 1920-29; right, Maj. Gen. Walter C. Baker, 
1937-41; bottom left, Alaj. Gen. Harry L. Gilchrist, 1929-33; right, Maj. 
Gen. Claude E. Brigham, 1933-37. 



Chemical Division and the Mechanical Division, each of which was engaged 
in research and development activities; the Plants Division, which was 
responsible for manufacturing; the Property Division, to which supply 
responsibilities were delegated; the Chemical Warfare School; and CWS 
troops. 29 Later a Safety and Inspection Division and a Medical Research 
Division were activated. 

From a managerial standpoint the 1920's were a period of trial and 
error at Edgewood, when certain administrative procedures were inaugu- 
rated which later had to be modified. For example, before 1924 it was the 
practice to allocate funds to each division chief, who would disburse such 
funds and keep the necessary records pertaining to them. Each division, 
moreover, maintained its own storehouses, and it was not uncommon for 
one division to be short of certain items while another division had a surplus 
of these items. To rectify the condition a Planning Division (later called 
Administration Division) was set up in 1924. Another outstanding instance 
of how Edgewood profited through experience was in the field of research 
and development. Here each of three divisions (Chemical, Mechanical, and 
Medical Research) did all its own research and all its own engineering, 
which resulted in duplication of effort. A reorganization in 1928 largely 
remedied the situation by eliminating the Chemical and Mechanical Di- 
visions and activating the following divisions: Research, Munitions Devel- 
opment, Information, Protective Development, and Engineering. After this 
reorganization, research was confined to the Research and Medical Research 
Divisions, and all engineering activities were concentrated in the Engi- 
neering Division. This was substantially the organization of Edgewood 
Arsenal at the start of the emergency period. At that time approximately 
nine hundred civilians were employed at Edgewood. 30 

Research and Development 

Research and development was affected less than other functions by 
the action of the General Staff in 1922 which restricted CWS activities to 
the defensive. This was natural, and indeed inevitable, for it was not 
possible in doing research on a chemical agent or munition to make a nice 
distinction as to whether the item would be used by an enemy or by the 

w Rptof CWS, 192 1. 

30 (i) Memo, TIG for C CWS, 1 Jun 27, sub: Survey WD Branches, Bureaus, and 1st Ind. 
CWS 333/2. (2) Edgewood Arsenal Organization Charts, 1921, 1922, 1929. (3) Memo, C Mfg 
and Supply Div for C CWS, 10 Jun 37. CWS 300-4/4- 



U.S. Army. In February 1923 the War Department modified its former 
ruling to permit investigation of "various types of offensive gases and 
appliances against which defensive measures might be necessary." 31 During 
the peacetime period, therefore, the CWS conducted research and devel- 
opment on chemical agents, on the dispersion of those agents from airplanes, 
on smoke-producing materials, on the Livens projector, and on the 4.2-inch 
chemical mortar. Results of this research included the decrease in weight 
and increase in range of the 4.2-inch mortar, the development and standard- 
ization of sulphur trioxide in chlorosulfonic acid (FS), a smoke-producing 
material, and the design and installation of a filling plant for loading 
chemical munitions in Hawaii. 

Some notable accomplishments in the defensive field were development 
of impregnite for gasproofing of clothing, improvement of the gas-mask 
canister to provide against irritant smoke, and development of a fully 
molded facepiece for the gas mask. 32 

The Chemical Warfare Service, in addition to conducting research and 
development on various aspects of chemical warfare, co-operated with other 
branches of the Army, with the U.S. Public Health Service, and with the 
Navy on projects of a quasi-public-health nature. In 1920 the service was 
directed to co-operate with the Medical Department and the Quartermaster 
Corps on the extermination of rodents and vermin. 33 Later the CWS worked 
on methods of exterminating the boll weevil and on improved methods 
for fumigating ships. 34 

Procurement and Supply 

The peacetime restrictive policy of the War Department had a marked 
effect on CWS procurement and supply activities. Manufacture of all toxics 
was completely discontinued and the plants at Edgewood Arsenal fell into 
a state of disrepair. The only toxics in existence in the U.S. Army from 
1922 to 1937 were some leftovers from World War I that were held in 

31 Memo, TAG for CGs All Corps Areas et at., 5 Feb 23, sub: Confidential Instructions as to 
the Interpretation of GO 24 and GO 26. AG 353 (2-2-23) Misc.-M-C. 

32 (i) Rpts of CWS, 1921-27. (2) Lists of CWS R&D Proj Programs by fiscal years 1921-29. 
(3) Ltr, C CWS to CofS, 16 May 37, sub: Final Rpt on Status of Cml Warfare Readiness by 
Retiring C CWS. G-4/29895-1. (4) For a detailed discussion of research and development, see 
Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, | From Lab oratory to Field. | 

33 WD GO 67, 11 Nov 20. 

34 Rpts of CWS, 1926-27. 



storage in the lone CWS storage depot at Edgewood and a small quantity 
that had been shipped from the Edgewood depot to Hawaii in 1921. Manu- 
facture at Edgewood Arsenal was restricted to defensive items, chiefly 
gas masks. 

While procurement was kept at a minimum there were no restrictions 
on procurement planning. The Procurement Planning Division of the 
Chief's office was responsible for drawing up and submitting its portion of 
industrial mobilization plans to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of War. 
Early in 1924 procurement district offices were activated in New York, 
Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and San Francisco. 35 

The War Department general order No. 26, 1922, which restricted 
CWS research, procurement, and supply of poison gases to the defensive 
aspects of chemical warfare was not rescinded during the peacetime years 
or, as a matter of fact, at any later date. As mentioned above, it was 
modified in February 1923 but only with regard to research. Certain devel- 
opments from the mid-thirties on, however, had the effect of nullifying 
the general order. This fact was brought out very well in a written dis- 
cussion within the General Staff in the spring of 1936. Certain members of 
the staff were then contending that under General Orders No. 26 the Chemi- 
cal Warfare Service had no authority to manufacture and supply toxic 
chemicals. In rebuttal, the chief of the War Plans Division (WPD), Brig. 
Gen. Stanley D. Embick, marshaled the following list of developments 
to prove that General Orders No. 26 was null and void: 

a. Approval by the Secretary of War, 7 November 1934, of the Joint 
Board recommendation, to make all necessary preparations for the use of 
chemical warfare from the outbreak of war. 

b. Approval by the Secretary of War, 21 August 1935, of the Joint Board 
recommendation, in regard to chemical warfare, that "adequate facilities 
must be available to meet the peace and wartime needs of both services 
[Army and Navy]." 

c Recommendations of the Secretary of War during the past two years 
for funds for the partial rehabilitation of the mustard gas plant at Edgewood 
Arsenal, for the manufacture of fifty tons of mustard gas, and for the three- 
year rearmament program for 4.2-inch chemical mortars. 

d. Appropriations by the Congress of funds to cover c, above. 

"War Department Bulletin 14, 1923, authorized the activation of these procurement district 



e. Army Appropriation Acts 1935 an ^ I 93^ J containing the following 
language: "For . . . manufacture of chemical warfare gases or other toxic 
substances — or other offensive and defensive materials or appliances required 
for gas warfare purposes." 36 

The presentation of this list seems to have clinched the argument. 

Training of Troops 

The CWS training mission included staff supervision of the training of 
the Army in chemical warfare and the training of CWS military personnel, 
both Regular and Reserve. Training of the Army was conducted under the 
direction of "chemical" officers, who were CWS technical specialists assigned 
by the War Department to the staffs of division and Air Corps commanders 
as well as to corps area and department headquarters. "Gas" officers assisted 
in the training at lower echelons. The center of training of CWS personnel, 
as well as selected officers of the Navy and Marine Corps, was the Chemical 
Warfare School at Edgewood Arsenal. Reserve officers were trained through 
Army extension courses and through fourteen-day-on-duty training periods 
with the Army. Reserve Officers* Training Corps courses for prospective 
CWS officers were conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
and at the Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College. 

In 1923 the War Department modified the CWS training mission. Train- 
ing of the noncombatant branches of the Army "other than the Chemical 
Warfare Service" was ordered confined to defensive aspects. 37 Training of 
the combatant arms was to include the "use of smoke, incendiary materials, 
and nontoxic gases." Training of CWS personnel was to be conducted in 
accordance with the provisions of the National Defense Act, that is, it was 
to cover both the offensive and defensive aspects. 38 

39 (i) The Joint Army and Navy Board, usually called the Joint Board, was established in 
1903 by agreement between the Secretaries of War and the Navy. It was composed of three Army 
members (Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, and Chief, War Plans Division) and three Navy 
members (Chief of Naval Operations, his deputy, and director of Navy's War Plans Division). 
See Watson, Prewar Plans, pp. 79-81, for more details. (2) Also see Vernon E. Davis, History of 
Joint Chiefs of Staff in World War II, Vol. I, Ch. II. MS, OCMH. (3) Memo, WPD (Embick) 
for G— 4, 31 Mar 36, sub: Manufacture and Supply of Essential Cml Agents. G-4, 29895. 

"(i)Memo, TAG for CGs All Corps Areas et aL, 5 Feb 23, sub: Confidential Instructions as 
to the Interpretation of GO 24 and GO 26. AG 353 (2-2-23) Misc.— M-C. (2) The question of 
whether the CWS had combatant or noncombatant duties remained unsettled in the War Depart- 
ment until the fall of 1941. See below. Chapter IX. 

38 See Note 37(1), above. 



Relations With Other Elements of Armed Forces 

To carry out its assigned mission, the Chemical Warfare Service had to 
maintain contact with other elements of the Army, such as the Quartermaster, 
Ordnance, Air Corps, and Medical Department, and with the Navy and the 
Marine Corps. Several media of liaison have already been mentioned, such 
as the CWS Technical Committee and the chemical and gas officers who 
served at headquarters and with troop units. In the Army, the CWS had 
particularly close relations in the peacetime years with the Medical Depart- 
ment which, as already indicated, had an interest in gas warfare dating back 
to World War I. 39 After the war, medical research on chemical warfare 
lapsed, but in 1922 a new Medical Research Division was set up at Edge- 
wood Arsenal. This division was headed by Lt. Col. Edward B. Vedder, 
Medical Corps, a noted toxicologist. Vedder was directly responsible to the 
chief of the Medical Division, OC CWS, Colonel Gilchrist, who in 1929 was 
to be named Chief, CWS. It was largely through Gilchrist's influence that 
close relations between the CWS and the Medical Department were estab- 
lished. At the medical research laboratory at Edgewood trained research 
workers (about a dozen in number) of both organizations worked side by 

CWS relations with the Navy dated back to World War I, when there 
was considerable apprehension that ships might be attacked with poison gas. 
At that time, the Chemical Warfare Service undertook research projects for 
the Navy, and naval personnel were furnished gas masks and trained in 
offensive and defensive gas warfare. After the war, as the result of the recom- 
mendations of a board of Navy officers headed by Rear Adm. William S. 
Sims, provision was made in the Navy for assigning various chemical war- 
fare functions to specific bureaus. From 1921 on, these Navy bureaus main- 
tained close liaison with the CWS. 40 

In February 1922 the Navy set up at Edgewood Arsenal a unit whose 

39 See above, Chapter I. 

w (i) Service Chemicals United States Navy, 1939 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 
i939)» PP- 14-16. (2) Ltr, SecNav to the President, 7 JuJ 17, 28801, Mat-i-ML 7/6, NA. (3) 
Memo, CNO for Div of Material, et al. t 30 Dec 20 sub: Board to Consider Possibilities of Gas 
Warfare and Methods of Defense Against Gas Attack. OP-22 in SecNav File 28801-16 to 80, 
NA. (4) Ltr, SecNav to Rear Adm William S. Sims, 8 Jan 21, sub: Board to Study Methods of 
Defense of Naval Vessels Against Gas Attack and Possibilities of the Offensive Use of Noxious 
Gases in Naval Warfare. OP-22, (431-2) in Sec Nav File 28801-16 to 80, NA. (5) Ltr, SecNav 
to SecWar, 29 Apr 21, sub: Gas Warfare. SecNav File 28801-33. (6) Ltr, SecWar to SecNav, 
14 May 20, sub: Correspondence Relative to Gas Warfare. OCS 17230 in SecNav 28801-16 to 
80, NA. 


duties included maintaining liaison between the Army and the Navy on all 
matters pertaining to chemical warfare, co-ordinating research work in 
progress at Edgewood for various bureaus of the Navy, inspecting chemical 
warfare materiel manufactured at Edgewood Arsenal for the Navy, and 
planning certain courses of instruction for naval officers at the Chemical 
Warfare School. In May 1922 the Secretaries of the War and Navy Depart- 
ments reached an agreement stipulating that the Navy would provide 
definite financial assistance to the Army for research in the means of defense 
against war gases. The following year the two Secretaries agreed that the 
CWS would be responsible for development and procurement activities 
relating to chemical warfare materiel for both the Army and the Navy. 41 

This arrangement had been in force a dozen years when the Navy began 
to develop doubts as to the ability of the CWS to make chemical warfare 
preparations for both services. In March 1935 the Chief of Naval Operations, 
in a letter to the Joint Board, stated that the chief of the Navy's Bureau of 
Construction and Repair felt that the CWS did not have the capacity to meet 
the requirements of the Army, the Navy, and the Marine Corps and that 
consequently he had recommended a reconsideration of the existing agree- 
ment between the Army and the Navy." 12 

The letter prompted the Joint Board to consult the other services and 
bureaus of the War and Navy Departments, and, on the basis of the replies 
received, the board decided on 21 August 1935 to renew the agreement of 
1923. 43 Although the Navy as well as the Army approved this decision, less 
than two years later the Secretary of the Navy again raised the question of 
the Navy's dissatisfaction with the arrangement. Thereupon the Joint Board 
again took the matter under consideration and on 12 May 1937 reversed the 
decision of 21 August 1935. 44 The 1937 ruling of the Joint Board, which 
remained in effect throughout World War II, stated that while the Navy's 

4I (i) Memo, Capt Allen B. Reed, USN, Chain Ex Com ANMB, for JB, i Apr 37, sub: 
Change in Agreement Between the Army and Navy Relative to Development and Proc of Cml 
Warfare Material. JB 325, Ser 605. (2) Ltr, SecNav to SecWar, 1 May 22, sub: Allotment of 
Funds to War Dept by Bur of Navy Dept for Gas Warfare Defense and Research Work. OP-22 
(431-25) in SecNav File 28801-61, NA. (3) Ltr, SecWar to SecNav, 19 May 22. G-4/6031 in 
SecNav File 28801-16 to 80, NA. (4) Ltr, Actg SecNav to SecWar 23 May 22, sub: Allotment 
of Funds to War Dept by Bur of Navy Dept for Gas Warfare Defense and Research Work. 
OP-22 (431-25) in SecNav File 28801-61, NA. 

"Ltr, CNO (William H. Standley) to JB, 11 Mar 35, sub: Cml Warfare. AGO 29901-1. 

43 Ltr, Douglas MacArthur, USA, Senior Member Present JB, to SW, 21 Aug 35, sub: Cml 
Warfare. AGO 29901-1. 

"Ltr, Mai in Craig, USA, Senior Member Present JB, to SW, 12 May 37, sub: Change in 
Agreement hetween the Army and Navy Relative to Development and Proc of Cml Warfare 
Material. JB 325, Ser 605. This action was approved by the Secretary of War on 14 May 1937. 



requirements in chemical warfare materiel in peace and war would generally 
be filled through the facilities of the CWS, the Navy might, if it deemed 
advisable, assign development or production of its chemical warfare require- 
ments to sources other than the CWS. The ruling also listed certain pro- 
cedures which both departments would have to observe. These included the 
mutual disclosure of their chemical warfare requirements and the mutual 
exchange of technical information obtained from outside sources/ 5 

Industrial Mobilization Gets Under Way 

On 8 September 1939, one week after the outbreak of war in Europe, 
President Roosevelt issued a proclamation of "limited national emer- 
gency." 46 This led to a greater emphasis on preparedness throughout the 
armed forces. 47 While all CWS activities felt the impact of this declaration, 
procurement was affected more than other functions. The main current of 
CWS developments in the emergency period was the industrial mobilization 

The CWS took steps, under the guidance of the Office of the Assistant 
Secretary of War, to implement the educational order legislation enacted by 
Congress in June 193s. 48 This legislation had as its objective the training of 
selected industrial concerns in the manufacture of a half-dozen Army items, 
one of which was the gas mask. The first educational order contract was 
written by the Chemical Warfare Service in late 1939 and several more were 
awarded in 1940 and 1941. 49 The educational order program was the first 
real step, as far as the CWS was concerned, in the direction of industrial 
mobilization in the emergency period. 

Other strides toward industrial mobilization were taken under the 
Munitions Program of 30 June 1940. The formulation of this program by 
the President, the National Defense Advisory Commission, and the War 
Department was the first important move to supply an expanding army with 
the implements of war. 50 In June 1940 Congress passed the first of five 

45 ibid. 

46 Proclamation 2352. 

47 See R. Elberton Smith, The Army and Economic Mobilization, UNITED STATES ARMY 
IN WORLD WAR II (Washington; 1958). 

48 Public Law 18, 76th Cong., 1st Sess., 52 Stat. 707, 16 Jun 38. 

49 For more details on the educa tional order program in the CWS, see Brophy, Miles, and 
Cochrane, From Laborator y to Fiel<L| 

w (i) See Watson, Prewar Plans] pp. 161-82, 318-21, for details on Mu nitions Program. (2) 

For details on this program in the CWS, see Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, From Laboratory to 



supplemental appropriation acts for the fiscal year 1941 to finance this 
program. Included in those appropriations was over $57,000,00 for the 
Chemical Warfare Service, of which over $53,000,000 was for procurement 
and supply. 51 

The appropriation of funds in such unprecedented sums enabled the CWS 
to undertake a number of programs, some of which had been in the planning 
stages for a number of years. Among the important programs were the fol- 
lowing: rehabilitation of old and construction of new facilities at Edgewood 
Arsenal, construction of new CWS arsenals at Huntsville, Alabama, and 
Pine Bluff, Arkansas, erection of new government-owned chemical plants in 
various parts of the country, acceleration of production activities at Edge- 
wood Arsenal, and awarding of contracts through the procurement districts 
for such items as the gas mask and 4.2-inch mortar shells. Construction of 
the new arsenal at Huntsville began in July 1941 and at Pine Bluff in 
December 1941. 

Passage of the Lend-Lease Act of 11 March 1941 gave further impetus 
to the CWS procurement and supply program. 52 Lend-lease appropriations 
enabled the CWS to undertake procurement activities on a larger scale. 
Between April and December 1941, the Chemical Warfare Service procured 
raw chemicals, gas masks, and other items for supply to Great Britain. Many 
of the items were manufactured at Edgewood, but a number were also 
secured through special contracts in the procurement districts. 

Research and Development: A Change in Outlook 

In late 1936 the General Staff had decided to cut research and develop- 
ment funds throughout the Army. The reason was a desire to get the Army 
equipped as soon as possible with the best materiel then available and to con- 
centrate on that objective rather than on research and development of new 
materiel. 53 Consequently, the Army began to place more emphasis on work 
pertaining to plant design, specifications for items, and manufacturing direc- 
tives than on pure research and development projects. From 1937 to 1939 
much effort and money (for that period) went into the design, construction, 
and operation of a pilot mustard-gas shell-filling plant at Edgewood Arsenal. 
In November 1939 research and development was even more sharply sub- 
ordinated to procurement under a policy of the Assistant Secretary of War 

61 CWS 314.7 Appropriations File. 

62 Public Law n, 77th Cong. 

63 Watson, Prewar Plans, p. 42. 



to abandon all basic research projects and all long-range development and 
to concentrate on completing development of the most promising items for 
which there was a definite military requirement. 54 

Research and development was not to be long hidden under a bushel. 
In June 1940 the National Defense Research Committee (NDRC) was set 
up by Presidential approval. 55 Division B (later expanded to Divisions 8, 9, 
io, and 11) of NDRC, headed by Dr. James Bryant Conant, was set up to 
handle studies on bombs, fuels, gases, and chemical problems. Present at the 
first meeting of this division on n July 1940 were General Baker, Chief, 
CWS, and Lt. Col. Maurice E. Barker, chief of the Technical Division, OC 
CWS. Shortly thereafter the CWS proposed six projects for study by Division 
B, and by July 1941 this number had increased to sixteen. On 28 June 1941 
NDRC and the Committee on Medical Research were included, by Executive 
order, under the jurisdiction of a newly created Office of Scientific Research 
and Development. Three months later the CWS recommended its initial 
medical project to the Committee on Medical Research, the first of seventeen 
such projects that would be undertaken before the close of World War II. 

Included in the construction program which got under way at Edgewood 
Arsenal in the fall of 1940 was a new research center. Prior to that time 
research had been carried on in old, scattered buildings of World War I 
vintage, ill suited for the purpose and costly to maintain. The new research 
center was completed by the time war was declared. It consisted of a modern, 
two-story, laboratory building, animal and storage buildings, machine shops, 
powder and smoke laboratories, pilot plants, a power plant, and other neces- 
sary structures. 56 By that time also the CWS had acquired a new laboratory 
on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 57 

Limited Emphasis on Chemical Warfare Service Training 

Of all the principal functions of the Chemical Warfare Service, training 
received least emphasis in the emergency period. 58 There were several 
reasons. First of all, war plans did not call for the use of gas offensively in 
the period of mobilization and therefore the War Department did not put 
a high priority on the training of chemical troops. More important was the 

M Ltr, C CWS (Gen Baker) to CofS, 30 Apr 41 sub: Final Rpt. CWS 319.1/2183-2249. 

BB (i) James Phinney Baxter, 3rd, Scientists Against Time (Boston: Little, Brown and Com- 
pany, 1947), pp. 17-19 and Chs XVIII and XIX. (2) Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, From 
Laboratory to Field. 

M Rexmond C. Cochrane, CWS Research and Development, pp. 50-51. MS. 

" For more details on this laboratory, see below | Chapter VI. | 

M For more details on training in the emergency period, see below, [Chapter IX. | 



uncertainty over the function of chemical combat troops in theaters of 
operation. Should CWS troops be employed to disperse toxic chemicals or 
should this be done by artillery or infantry using conventional-type weapons ? 
Answers to this and several other basic questions on the CWS mission were 
not forthcoming until the fall of 1941. Until these answers were given CWS 
training activities continued to be limited. 

During the emergency period the CWS continued to supervise the train- 
ing of the Army in defensive gas warfare. In 1940 and 1941 the service faced 
the task of training fillers for existing CWS units which were being built 
up to full strength and training cadres and fillers for units being activated 
in the ground forces and air forces. 5 * During this period also the Training 
Division of the Chief's office drew up Tables of Organization and Equip- 
ment for field units to carry out tasks resulting from recent technical develop- 
ments, such as impregnating clothing to protect the wearer against gas 
vapors. 60 A Service Units Board, set up by the Chief, CWS, in May 1940, 
reviewed the mission and organization of CWS laboratory, depot, and 
maintenance units in the light of the operations in the European war and 
redefined their functions. 61 In the spring of 1941 the CWS organized a 
Replacement Center (later called Replacement Training Center) at Edge- 
wood Arsenal. Between the date of its activation and the end of 1941 the 
center trained over seventeen hundred men, but this was less than one half of 
the number of troops coming into chemical units in that period. 

Organizational Developments: 1940-41 

The increase of CWS activities and the consequent expansion of person- 
nel rolls made it necessary to set up more elaborate administrative machinery 
in the Chief's office and in the field. (Char t^i^ind\^ See also Table^^md^fy 
In July 1940 General Baker provided for an expanded organization in his 
office. Fiscal, Supply, Procurement, and Information Branches were raised 
to division status and thus placed on an administrative par with the Tech- 
nical, Personnel, and Training Divisions. Since the Army was placing greater 
emphasis on procurement than on any of its other functions, the new Procure- 
ment Division was most imposing in its make-up. It included two sub- 
divisions, designated Arsenal Procurement and Industrial Procurement. Each 
subdivision contained several sections and some of the sections had several 

w For names and locations of CWS units, see below J Chapter IX. | 

80 In July 1940 th e Operations, War Plans, and Training Division became the Training 
Division ] See Chart 1 J 

ai OC CWS SO 25, 6 May 40. 

Chart 1 — Organization, Office, Chief of Chemical Warfare Service, 
Washington, D. C, As of 6 July 1940 


Executive Officer 

Executive Officer 


Executive Division 




Mail and Files 





Chart 2 — Organization of the Chemical Warfare Service, 
As of August 1940 


The Chief 


CW Depot 

Chemical Officers 


Corps Areas 

Overseas Depts. 

Army Corps 


Air Corps Units 

CW Instructors 
at Service 



2d Sep Cml 

412th Cml Co 

1st Cml Co 

1 0th Cml Co 



branches. 62 Later this nomenclature was reversed, and sections became 
standard subdivisions of branches in all Army organizations. 63 

The initiation of procurement activities in the districts in mid- 1940 led 
to an increase in the number of employees and to the development of district 
organizations to supervise expanding activities. Before 1939 each procure- 
ment district office was staffed by one officer and a stenographer or two, but 
in fiscal year 1940 several of the districts added a civilian engineer and a 
draftsman to the rolls. The increased appropriations in fiscal year 1941 en- 
abled the districts to hire many more employees, so that by December 1940 
the Boston district had 108 civilian employees, New York 82, Pittsburgh 
373, and San Francisco 73. The vast majority of these were inspectors. By 
the end of 1940 the number of officers in the various districts ranged from 
five and twenty. 64 During 1941 the roster continued to grow. The following 
tabulation shows the comparative number of military and civilians in the 
five districts at dates indicated in 194 1: 65 










18 January 

Chicago. _ _ 



27 March 

New York. 



20 February 

Pittsburgh. __ _ . 



14 March 

San Francisco 



15 April 

Although the organizational structures which were set up in the procure- 
ment districts in 1940 were essentially similar, there were enough variations 
to cause confusion. For example, each district but one had a separate fiscal 
unit; the one exception had a fiscal, property, and transportation unit. Almost 
all districts had separate inspection units. While the Office of the Chief 
reviewed the organizational charts of the districts, it did not insist on uni- 
formity, and Inspector General reports on the procurement districts noted 
without comment the varying organizational patterns of the districts. In 
addition to lack of complete uniformity of organization there was lack of 
uniformity in administrative procedures in the districts. For instance, the 
district offices differed in the types of forms and records which they kept. 
This absence of standardization was to engage the attention of the Chief's 
office after the war got under way. 

62 OC CWS Off O 6, 6 Jul 40. ^ 

63 For key personnel, OC CWS, 1940-4 see below j Appendix E. J 

M Figures based on various manuscript histories of chemical warfare procurement districts. 
88 IGD rpts of CWS proc districts for fiscal year 1941. CWS 335A0-15. 


Between the summer of 1940 and the declaration of war, two changes 
were effected at CWS installations. In August 1940 Fort Hoyle, a Field 
Artillery installation adjacent to Edgewood Arsenal, was vacated and the 
land and buildings turned over to the CWS. This space was sorely needed 
in the period of expansion. In December 1940 an arsenal operations depart- 
ment was set up at Edgewood to supervise strictly arsenal functions such as 
production service, and inspection. 

General Baker retired as Chief, CWS, on 30 April 1941 and was suc- 
ceeded on 31 May by Maj. Gen. William N. Porter. 66 The activities of the 
service continued to expand, and General Porter immediately began to take 
steps to crystallize the CWS mission, steps which would shortly result in still 
greater expansion of activities. Porter, like many other military men of the 
time, was convinced that American entry into the war was all but inevitable 
and that the CWS had to be prepared for nothing short of full-scale opera- 
tions. Therefore in the summer of 1941 he reorganized his office. 67 

One feature of this organization of the Office of the Chief, CWS, was 
use of terminology then in general use throughout other technical services 
of the Army. Thus, the term "services" was used to designate the echelons 
having jurisdiction over the principal operating functions of CWS, namely, 
industrial, technical, and field (troops and training) . General Porter selected 
Col. Paul X. English to head the Industrial Service, Col. Edward Mont- 
gomery, the Field Service, and Lt. Col. Maurice E. Barker, the Technical 

Development of the Chemical Warfare Service Mission 
in the Emergency Period 

General Porter inherited several problems for which his predecessors 
in office had been unable, for a variety of reasons, to find satisfactory solu- 
tions. One was the impasse, already referred to, on the role of chemical 
troops in combat. Another was the division of responsibility for incendiary 
bombs between CWS and Ordnance, which was impeding production of 
these important munitions. A potential problem was the absence of specific 
official responsibility in the Chemical Warfare Service for an activity in 
which the CWS had an interest, namely, biological warfare (BW). 

m For a biographical sketch of Porter, see below Jchapter V. | 

67 (i)Interv, CmlHO with Maj Gen William N. Porter, USA (Ret.), i<$ July 49* (2) OC 
CWS, Off O 12, 14 Jul 41, outlined the basic features of the new organization, leaving the details 
to be work ed out lat er. The new organization was officially approved on 2 September 1941, as 
indicated in | Chart 3T] 




c '> 






After Porter became Chief he made solution of these problems the first 
order of business. There were two concomitant circumstances in his favor: 
(i) the sense of urgency which marked U.S. military preparations in mid- 
1941; and (2) the receptive attitude of the Chief of Staff to proposals that 
promised to strengthen the nation's defenses. Porter was quick to take 
advantage of both. 

In July 1 94 1 the Chief, CWS, took action to get the question of weapons 
for chemical units settled. This he did by formally recommending to the 
Chief of Staff that the two active chemical weapons companies in the zone of 
interior be expanded to battalions and equipped with the 4. 2 -inch mortar. 88 
The Chief, CWS, encountered some difficulty with this suggestion in the 
General Staff, but General George C. Marshall decided the issue by directing 
that General Porter's proposal be carried out. 69 

The division of responsibility for the incendiary bomb between Ordnance 
and Chemical Warfare Service dated back to 1920, when the War Depart- 
ment charged the CWS with the development of incendiary agents and the 
filling of incendiary munitions and Ordnance with responsibility for the 
procurement, storage, and issue of those munitions. 70 Neither Ordnance nor 
the CWS showed any marked enthusiasm for incendiaries in the peacetime 
years, although certain individuals, at least in the CWS, did. The CWS officer 
who perhaps more than anyone else was responsible for ''selling" the Air 
Corps on the incendiary bomb was General Porter, who had been liaison 
officer at the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field (1933-37) and 
later (1937-41) liaison officer at GHQ Air Force headquarters at Langley 
Field. From Langley Field Porter went to Washington as Chief, CWS, 
thoroughly convinced that incendiaries were an absolutely indispensable 
munition for the winning of any future war. 71 

Two months after he assumed office, General Porter arranged for the 
recall to active duty of a colonel in the Reserves who had been intensely 
interested in incendiaries since World War I, Professor J. Enrique Zanetti of 
Columbia University. Porter sent Zanetti to London to obtain firsthand 
information on the bomb situation and upon his return put him in charge 
of the incendiary bomb program in the CWS. 72 

m Memo, C CWS for CofS, 26 Jul 41, sub: Cml Troops. CWS 320.2/266. 

CT See memo for red placed on returned copy of Memo, G-3 for TAG, 5 Sep 41, sub: Cml 
Troops. G— 3/46556. 

T0 WD GO 54, 28 Aug 20. 

71 (i)Memo, C CWS for G-3, 29 Nov 26, sub: Functions of the CWS. In OC CWS "black 
book on policy. " (2) Memo, C Incendiaries Br OC CWS for C CWS, 2 Dec 41, sub: Develop- 
ment of Incendiary Bomb Program. CWS 471. 6/1 122. (3) Porter interv, 16 Jul 49. 

72 Porter interv, 16 Jul 49. 



The issue of divided responsibil- 
ity for the incendiary bomb pro- 
gram came up for consideration at 
a midnight conference on 15 July 
1941 called by the Deputy Chief of 
Staff, Maj. Gen. Richard C. Moore. 
Represented at this conference were 
the Ordnance Department, Army 
Air Forces, and the Chemical War- 
fare Service. General Porter, repre- 
senting the CWS, was emphatic in 
asserting that divided responsibility 
for the bomb program would not 
work, and to this proposition Brig. 
Gen. Carl A. Spaatz, Chief of Staff, 
Army Air Forces, lent his emphatic 
indorsement. The War Department 
announced its official decision on 
the matter on 3 September 1941 
when it turned over responsibility 
for all phases of the incendiary 
bomb program to CWS. 73 

The subject of biological warfare attracted but passing interest in the 
Chemical Warfare Service in the years between the two wars/* The chief 
of Medical Division, OC CWS, Maj. Leon A. Fox, lectured on the topic 
in the early 1930's at the Chemical Warfare School. His lectures reflected 
the general attitude of both the scientists and military men of the period, 
which was to minimize the potentialities of biological warfare. 76 

The later 1930's witnessed a marked change in thinking on biological 
warfare, a result of the simultaneous development of the science of bac- 
teriology and airpower. By the 'forties the threat of this type of warfare 

4.2-lNCH Chemical Mortar, used 
by Chemical units, World War II, 
Soldier is adjusting elevation of his 

"(i)Notes of Conf in off of Gen Moore by Lt Col John T. Lewis, ASGS, 15 July 41, sub: 
Incendiary Bombs. CWS 471.6/241-280. (2) Ltr, TAG to CWS, 3 Sep 41, sub: Incendiary 
Bombs. CWS 471.6/29. (3) WD GO 10, 10 Sep 41. (4) Proceedings of the Proc Assignment 
Bd, OUSW, 17 Nov 41, with approval by Robert P. Patterson, USW, 18 Nov 41. CWS File 
471.6/241-248. (5) WD GO 13, 24 Nov 41. (6) Porter interv, 16 Jul 49. 

14 See Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, |From L aboratory to Field] for a fuller treatment of 
biological warfare. 

"Major Fox summarized his ideas in an article, "Use of Biologic Agents in Warfare," The 
Military Surgeon, LXXII (1933), 189-207. 



was causing concern not only to the armed forces, but also to certain 
nonmilitary governmental agencies and to scientific associations. The reason 
for this is quite obvious: if a biological warfare attack were made on the 
civilian population, the attack would possibly be conducted on such a scale 
that every known resource would have to be employed to combat it. In the 
fall of 1940 Dr. Vannevar Bush, chairman of the National Defense 
Research Committee, suggested to Dr. Lewis H. Weed of the Health and 
Medical Committee of the Council of National Defense that consideration 
be given to the offensive and defensive aspects of biological warfare. 76 A 
few months later the National Institute of Health took the threat of 
biological warfare under advisement. The attitude of these scientific groups 
was not one of alarm. They believed that the relatively advanced state of 
public health in the United States put the population in a favorable position 
in the event of a biological attack, but at the same time they felt that the 
situation should be carefully watched. 77 

The Surgeon General and the Chief of the Chemical Warfare Service 
welcomed the assistance of nonmilitary agencies and groups. In the summer 
of 1 94 1 The Surgeon General suggested to the National Defense Research 
Committee that a committee of scientists be set up to survey all phases 
of biological warfare, and about the same time the Chief, CWS, suggested 
to Mr. Harvey H. Bundy, special assistant to the Secretary of War, that a 
letter be prepared for the president of the National Academy of Science 
recommending the activation of a similar committee. 78 Secretary Henry L. 
Stimson that fall addressed such a letter to Dr. Frank B. Jewett, president 
of the National Academy of Science. 79 As a result of this letter a committee 
known as the WBC was set up, headed by Dean Edwin Broun Fred of the 
University of Wisconsin. 80 This group, which counted among its members 
outstanding authorities on human, animal, and plant pathology and bac- 
teriology, was making a survey of the potentialities of biological warfare 
when the United States became involved in the war. 

The Army had meanwhile been giving serious consideration to prepa- 
rations against biological attack. Shortly after General Porter became Chief, 

M Ltr, Bush to Weed, 28 Sep 40. WPD 4204-1. 

77 Capt Frank M. Schertz, History of Biological Warfare in the Chemical Warfare Service 
(1943), p. 16. MS. 

7S These letters are summarized in Memo for Red on Biological and Bacteriological Warfare, 
1 Oct 1941, by Lt Col Richard C. Jacobs, Jr. WPD 4205-5. 
7ft Ltr, SW to Jewett, 1 Oct 41 WPD 4204 BW. 

M "WBC" is a reversal of the initials for committee on biological warfare. 



CWS, he advised General Marshall that more consideration should be given 
to biological warfare, and he suggested that the responsibility go to the 
Chemical Warfare Service. 81 In August 1941 Brig. Gen. Harry L. Twaddle, 
Assistant Chief of Staff, G~3, informed General Marshall that in his judg- 
ment the Chemical Warfare Service was best equipped to handle this 
assignment. 82 Two months later Twaddle called on the Chief, CWS, to 
convey an oral directive from the Chief of Staff for the CWS to carry on 
research on biological warfare. 83 To supervise the function a new Biological 
Division was activated in the Office of the Chief. 84 

The emergency period saw not only the beginnings of industrial mo- 
bilization in the CWS but also the expansion of the CWS mission. Faced 
with the threat of war, the General Staff was less prone to deliberate on 
what activities the Chemical Warfare Service could carry on under War 
Department regulations and more inclined to assign definite responsibilities 
to the service. When the members of the General Staff could not agree, 
General Marshall personally intervened to decide the issue. Yet despite the 
progress made, the exact role of the CWS was not definitely decided until 
the war was well under way. 

81 Porter interv, 16 Jul 49. 

M Memo, Twaddle for Marshall, 27 Aug 41, sub: Invisible Mil Offensive Attack, summarized 
in Schertz, History of Biological Warfare, p. 53. 

M (i)Porter interv, 16 Jul 49. (2) Schertz, History of Biological Warfare, p. 148. 
84 OC CWS Organization Chart, 1 May 42. 


Crystallizing the Wartime Mission 

When the Japanese struck at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 the 
Chemical Warfare Service, in spite of signs of improvement in its position, 
was still suffering from uncertainty as to its wartime mission. The fact that 
the course of international policy and events after World War I had seri- 
ously hindered CWS preparations for the possibility of gas warfare, together 
with the Presidential pronouncements against using toxic agents, and even 
against the permanent retention of a chemical warfare service in the Army, 
tended to lessen the vigor with which a gas warfare preparedness program 
could be pushed. Once the nation actually became involved in a fighting 
war in which toxics might be used against U.S. troops, this attitude of the 
executive department and particularly the War Department became much 
more realistic. The first year of the war was to witness a marked change in 
interpretation of the mission of the CWS. 

A natural reaction to the events of 7 December was a War Department 
decision to authorize a sizable increase in CWS personnel. How these men 
would be utilized, into what units they would be formed, for what purposes 
the units would be used: these questions were as yet unanswered. 

The Study of January 1942 

The Secretary of State was among the first to raise a question as to the 
U.S. attitude toward gas warfare in World War II. In January 1942, Secre- 
tary of State Cordell Hull queried Secretary of War Stimson on the advisa- 
bility of a unilateral declaration by the United States of its intention to 
observe the terms of the 1925 Geneva Gas Protocol prohibiting the use 
in war of poisonous gases. 1 

'Ltr, Secy State to SW, 12 Jan 42. Referred to in Memo, ACofS WPD for CoS, 4 Feb 42, 
sub: Prohibition of Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological 
Methods of Warfare. WPD 165-21. The British had attempted in December 1941 to obtain a 
statement of this nature from the Japanese but without much success. See reference to this attempt 
in Ltr, Secy State to SW, 17 Dec 42, with proposed communique by British Government. OPD 
3S5 CWP, sec IIA. 



As the basis for a reply to the Secretary of State, Mr. Stimson had access 
to a January 1942 study on toxic gases prepared by the War Plans Division 
of the General Staff. WPD had undertaken this study to determine existing 
capabilities of the United States in the event of gas warfare. In the course 
of preparing Mr. Stimson's reply, WPD had also consulted the Chief, CWS, 
and his views were subsequently expressed by the War Department. 2 

Mr. Stimson advised the Department of State against making any public 
statement which might indicate willingness by the United States to observe 
on a reciprocal basis the terms of the Geneva protocol. The Secretary pointed 
out that such a statement might, through the introduction of domestic con- 
troversy over the political and moral issues involved, impede preparation, 
reduce potential combat effectiveness, and be considered by the enemy an 
indication of national weakness. Regardless of treaty obligations, the War 
Department considered the only effective deterrent to gas warfare to be 
enemy fear of American retaliation, the capability for which should be 
maintained through active preparation and constant readiness. On the orig- 
inal correspondence Mr. Stimson succinctly penned: "I strongly believe that 
our most effective weapon on this subject at the present time is to keep 
our mouths tight shut." 3 

The WPD analysis of the state of gas warfare preparations sought to 
determine whether actual capabilities were reasonably adequate. The study 
brought to light some serious shortcomings and thereby paved the way for 
important corrective action. Immediate questions raised by the study in- 
volved the mission, mobilization, training, and disposition of chemical troops 
— all matters which, in prewar planning, had unfortunately been left for 
future decision. The study recommended that a decision be made on whether 
the Chemical Warfare Service was an arm or a service. It pointed out that 
the Munitions Program called for 18 regiments of CWS troops whereas 
the troop basis permitted but 2 combat battalions for an army of 56 di- 
visions. The k WPD study therefore proposed that six full-strength chemical 
battalions be activated at once and one battalion each be provided for the 
important U.S. bastions of Hawaii and Panama. Since tactical considerations 
plus availability of equipment indicated that the Air Corps would be the 

2 (i) See Memo, C CWS for ACofS WPD, 25 Jan 42, sub: Prohibition of Use in War of 
Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare. (2) Memo, 
ACofS WPD for CofS, 4 Feb 42, sub: Prohibition of Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or 
Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare. Both in WPD 165-21. 

*Ltr, SW to Secy State, 18 Feb 42. WPD 165-21. Interestingly, in spite of the title, none of 
this correspondence made any direct reference to bacteriological warfare. All discussion was on 
gas warfare. 



first arm to use gas, the study asserted that first priority on chemical troops 
should be accorded to the Army Air Forces, and that Air Force A of the 
Munitions Program, comprising 147 officers and 5,777 enlisted men, should 
be activated and trained immediately. Other proposals included the pro- 
vision of defensive chemical units (impregnating and decontaminating) for 
key U.S. outposts and for Australia, Iceland, and Northern Ireland; stockage 
of chemical munitions in every overseas theater, possession, and base with 
priority to areas proximate to the Japanese; activation of six regiments of 
chemical troops as soon as equipment was available; and training for all 
branches in smoke and gas operations. 4 

On 13 February 1942 General Marshall personally directed WPD to 
insure the activation of 4 chemical combat battalions and directed the 
Budget and Legislative Planning Branch of the War Department to procure 
funds for the equipment of 18 chemical regiments (later reduced to 24 
battalions). 5 General Marshall ordered Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair to activate 
the four battalions along with nineteen chemical service companies before 
1 July 1942. Following the 9 March 1942 reorganization of the Army into 
the Headquarters, Army Air Forces (AAF), Army Ground Forces (AGF), 
and Army Service Forces (ASF), 6 the AGF, heir to many GHQ functions, 
informed the Operations Division (OPD), War Department General Staff, 
that a directive was in preparation which would set up a program for train- 
ing troops to operate under conditions of gas and smoke. By 23 March 
1942 the Commanding General, Army Air Forces, had activated nearly 
three fourths of the authorized air chemical troops. About this time The 
Quartermaster General was instructed to ship impregnated clothing and 
decontamination materiel to the Pacific bases and the Western Defense 
Command. 7 

These operational decisions provided answers that the CWS had anx- 
iously sought and supplied objectives toward which administrative and logis- 

4 Memo, Lt Col Charles C. Herrick, WPD, for C Opns GP WPD, 10 Feb 42, sub: Use of 
Toxic Gases. WPD 165-23. 

5 (i) Memo, Col William T. Sexton, OCofS, for CofS, 8 Feb 42. (2) DF, WPD to G-3 and 
G-4, 13 Feb 42, sub: Augmentation of Equipment for CWS. Both in WPD 166-5. 

"(i)WD Cir 59, 9 Mar 42. (2) Army Service Forces was known as the Services of Supply 
from March 1942 until 12 March 1943. Since it is best known by the earlier designation the term 
Army Service Forces will be used in the narrative of events from 9 March 1942 onward. Ad- 
ministratively, the CW S was under Army Service Forces and reported through ASF to the 
General Staff. See below J Chapter V. | 

T (i) Memo, Col Herrick, OPD, for Col St. Clair Streett, C Opns Gp OPD, 23 Mar 42, sub: 
Use of Toxic Gases. (2) Memo, Col James R. Townsend, C Resources & Reqmts Sec WPD, for 
Brig Gen Dwight D. Eisenhower, Feb 42, sub: Use of Toxic Gases. Both in WPD 165-23. 



CWS Equipment Army Exhibit, San Antonio, Texas, March 1942. The 
masks, from left to right, are: diaphragm, service, optical diaphragm (for use 
with field glasses), and civilian. 

tical action could be directed. By March 1942 the Chemical Warfare Service 
was thus embarked on a definite if modest mobilization project that was 
intended to assure the U.S. Army of at least a limited degree of readiness 
for gas warfare. In sum, this was an earnest of the active preparations and 
constant readiness to which the War Department had alluded in its reply 
to the Department of State. 

The Concern of Mr. McCloy 

While the WPD study was still in progress, Assistant Secretary of War 
John J. McCloy brought up another aspect of chemical warfare preparedness 
which, up to that time, had not been especially considered except by the 
CWS. McCloy asked the Chief of Staff whether the United States was pre- 
pared to assist the United Nations in the employment of toxic gases. 8 
General Marshall referred the McCloy memorandum to the Chief, Chemical 

8 (i) Memo, ASW for CofS, 25 Jan 42. CWS 470.6/27 11-27 54. (2) Interv, CmlHO with 
Maj Gen William N. Porter, USA (Ret.), 15 Sep 51. 



Warfare Service, for comment and recommendation. Porter's reply con- 
curred in the views and apprehensions expressed by Mr. McCloy and 
summarized certain specific steps considered necessary by way of preparation 
for gas warfare by the United Nations. Some of these measures were already 
under study by WPD. Porter now advanced a proposal that the chemical 
warfare needs of all the United Nations be surveyed to determine what 
assistance the United States should and could provide. "In most of our mili- 
tary preparations/' he said, "we shall, for some time to come, be forced 
to follow a pacemaker. With the vast chemical industry of the United States 
and the highly trained scientific and technical men connected with it, 
we should be able to be ready for all-out gas warfare, if required, in a 
relatively short time, and in this particular do the pacemaking ourselves." 9 

As a result of the McCloy memorandum and General Porter's recom- 
mendations, the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4, and the Assistant Chief of 
Staff, WPD, were directed to determine the requirements in chemical weap- 
ons and ammunition adequate to meet the needs of the United Nations in 
the event of gas warfare. 10 In addition, the Under Secretary of War, Mr. 
Robert P. Patterson, was requested to investigate current British and Amer- 
ican production plans to learn what increase should be provided to meet 
the possible needs of the United Nations. 11 

This militant attitude reflected the increasing concern on the part of 
the War Department over the gas warfare situation in the late winter and 
early spring of 1942. The General Staff was at last beginning to regard 
realistically the several dimensions of the gas warfare problem: the capabil- 
ity of the United States to produce and use toxic agents; the ability of the 
United States and the rest of the United Nations to defend themselves 
against gas attack; the preparation — offensive and defensive — for gas war- 
fare as a means of dissuading the enemy from using gas; and, behind all 
these considerations, the question whether the United States could indefi- 
nitely afford to surrender the initiative to the Axis in this important area. 
Thus the early months of 1942, a time of utmost difficulty for military 
planners generally, was also a period of serious concern over gas warfare. 
Would the enemy beat the United States to the punch and introduce gas 
before its nascent preparations materialized? Could the United States fulfill 

8 Memo, C CWS for CofS, 2 Feb 42, sub: Use of Gas. CWS 470.6/2711-2754- 
10 Memo, DCofS for ACofS G- 4 , n Feb 42, sub: Gas Warfare. WPD 165-24. 
u (i) Memo, DCofS for USW, 11 Feb 42, sub: Gas Warfare. (2) Memo, SGS for Mr. 
McCloy, 14 Feb 42. Both in WPD 165-24. 



its role in a coalition war of global proportions that was further complicated 
by the employment of toxic agents? Such questions the General Staff was 
now obliged to face. 

During the prewar years, particularly 1940 and 1941, the Chemical 
Warfare Service had not always concealed its impatience with what ap- 
peared to be a lack of realism in the War Department's approach to the 
subject of gas warfare. By 1942 wishful thinking had ceased. It became the 
official view that the enemy might sooner or later resort to gas and that, 
if he did, the United States should beat him at his own game. 12 

The Potter Proposals 

In addition to news of the steady succession of defeats suffered by the 
United Nations in the winter of 1941 and early spring of 1942, intelligence 
reports and rumors reaching the War Department hinted ever more strongly 
at the possibility of gas warfare. With the fall of Bataan the whole situation 
seemed to demand still closer study. The Assistant Chief of Staff, Opera- 
tions Division, Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, called for the views of 
the Chemical Warfare Service in a memorandum that began with the 
ominous statement: "Present intelligence reports indicate the possibility of 
the outbreak of chemical warfare in the near future." 13 General Eisenhower 
specifically requested an estimate of the capability and probability of the 
Axis* waging gas warfare, an estimate of the power of the United States 
to retaliate, a report (co-ordinated with The Quartermaster General) on 
the distribution of protective equipment, another report (co-ordinated with 
the Army Air Forces) of the means for retaliation presently available over- 
seas, and finally — for the CWS the most important — a report of such 
recommendations as the Chief, CWS, deemed advisable. 14 It was a red-letter 
day for the Chemical Warfare Service. 

General Porter and his staff warmly welcomed the opportunity to present 
their case, and the CWS reply furnished the blueprint for the wartime 

12 (i) Memo, Co) Herrick for C Opns Gp WPD, 10 Feb 42, sub: Use of Toxic Gases. WPD 
166-5. (2) Memo for Red, Col Jay W. MacKelvie, WPD, 11 Feb 42. Both in WPD 165-23. 
M Ltr, SW to Secy State, 18 Feb 42. WPD 165-21. 

l3 (i) Memo, ACofS OPD for CG SOS (Attn: C CWS), 27 Apr 42, sub: Cml Warfare. OPD 
441.5. (2) Two days earlier, General Marshall had cabled all theater commanders, warning them 
not to use gas without the prior approval of the War Department. See CM-OUT 5049, 25 
Apr 42. 

"Memo, ACofS OPD for CG SOS (Attn: C CWS), 27 Apr 42, sub: Cml Warfare. OPD 



mission and program of the Chemical Warfare Service. The CWS stated 
that the probability of gas warfare was stronger than at any time since 
the beginning of the war and that the Axis had greater capabilities for 
waging gas warfare than did the United Nations. Whereas Great Britain 
could retaliate immediately in Europe, the long-established policy by which 
the United States left the initiative in gas warfare to the enemy had so 
hampered American preparations that retaliation, at the best, would be 
on a limited scale. The offensive and defensive training of the Army in 
chemical warfare was deficient. In the few hours of training allotted to 
chemical warfare the American soldier had learned little more than how 
to adjust his gas mask. Nor did inspection reports reveal a much better 
condition of training on the part of company grade officers. The CWS 
regarded the distribution and supply of protective clothing and equipment 
as entirely inadequate. Only a limited amount of chemical warfare offensive 
materiel was overseas for the use of the Army Air Forces, although it would 
initially be in the best position to retaliate. 

General Porter therefore made a number of important recommenda- 
tions aimed at placing the United States in the proper posture for offensive 
and defensive gas warfare. The very first of these was that definite objec- 
tives should be set up for the entire chemical warfare supply program. 
These would include filling the requirements of the United States and 
other United Nations for full-scale chemical warfare. Since preparations 
on such a scale naturally called for additional arsenal facilities, the Chief, 
CWS, pointed out that the present and projected chemical warfare pro- 
duction capacity of the United States was based solely upon the current 
Army Supply Program, which did not visualize the extent to which chemical 
warfare might develop. He therefore recommended that American produc- 
tion capacity for toxic agents be increased well beyond probable enemy 
capacities. On the defensive side the Chief, CWS, proposed that full 
protection be provided for all military and naval personnel stationed out- 
side the continental United States, and he earnestly suggested that adequate 
gas and smoke training be injected into normal training routine and 

The Chief, CWS, felt that chemical mortar battalions would provide 
the most effective means for large-scale retaliation on the ground and that 
such battalions should be activated on the general basis of one per division. 
Although the Army Supply Program had provided for a total of 28 bat- 
talions by 1944, by May 1942 only 4 chemical battalions and 3 separate 
chemical mortar companies — one each in Panama, Hawaii, and the United 



States — had been activated, a fourth company having been lost in the 
Philippines. The CWS considered the 4.2-inch chemical mortar to be an 
ideal weapon for delivering gas, smoke, or high explosive shell in high 
concentrations in support of ground operations. 

General Porter proposed the following basis for troop units for service 
support in the field: 

Type Basis 
Maintenance Company One per army 

Decontaminating Company One per army corps 

Impregnating Company One per army corps 

Depot Company One per army 

Field Laboratory Company One per theater of 


He also believed that priority should be given to the chemical warfare 
requirements of the Army Air Forces and accordingly proposed the activa- 
tion of the following troop units: 

Type Basis 

Maintenance Company One per air force 

Impregnating Company One per air force 

Field Laboratory Company One per air force 

These service elements would be assigned to each air force in addition 
to the CWS units already authorized. 15 

For the Air Forces, General Porter further proposed that an over-all 
distribution scheme be prepared covering incendiary bombs, airplane spray 
tanks, and chemical bombs, based on the present location and anticipated 
future allocation of planes capable of employing those weapons in various 
theaters of operations. 

General Porter not only recommended that the GHQ Umpire Manual 
be revised to include chemical warfare training for all parts of the Army 
but he also made other proposals to increase the efficiency and capability 
of CWS training. He requested that the Chemical Warfare Service receive 
control of the entire area of Gunpowder Neck, on which Edgewood Arsenal 
was situated, instead of having to share it with the Ordnance Department. 
This need arose out of the ever-increasing demand for additional space 

lS (i) These were the following: chemical company (air bomb), chemical company (air opera- 
tions), chemical company (depot aviation), chemical platoon (airdrome), chemical platoon (air 
force supply base ), chemica l platoon (air force service center), and chemical company (service 
aviation) . (2) See Table 4 | for final recommendations on air chemical units. 



and range facilities in connection with both research and training which 
were carried on simultaneously at Edgewood. From this same problem 
arose General Porter's recommendation that, in any case, the Chemical 
Warfare Replacement Training Center (RTC) be relocated from Edge- 
wood to a 35,000-acre tract outside the town of Gadsden, Alabama. The 
Chief, CWS, proposed that the student capacity of the Chemical Warfare 
School be increased from 200 student officers and 50 student enlisted men 
to at least 400 student officers and 150 student enlisted men. General Porter 
also recommended that the capacity of the CWS Officer Candidate School 
(OCS) be increased from 160 to at least 700 officer candidates. Finally, 
he suggested that a school for senior officers be provided at Edgewood 
Arsenal with an initial attendance by general officers of the Army. 16 

A few months earlier such proposals would have received scant atten- 
tion at the General Staff level; now they were seriously studied and action 
on them was begun immediately. Within a week OPD sought their approval 
by the General Staff, with the exception of the ratio proposed by General 
Porter of one mortar battalion per armored or infantry division. 17 OPD 
recommended instead that twenty-eight chemical battalions be activated 
by 1944 with a maximum of fourteen by the end of 1942 and the General 
Staff concurred in the recommendations. 18 

All through the summer of 1942 the War Department was engaged 
in the implementation of General Porter's proposals. The War Department 
issued directives to insure adequate chemical warfare training and to provide 
for the immediate supply of impregnated clothing and other essential 
equipment to overseas forces. A priority list for the distribution of chemical 
warfare materiel was established with first priority given to the Far East. 
G-3 and ASF took measures to establish OCS and RTC facilities of suffi- 
cient size and to provide equipment for the program. By August the General 
Staff was ready to recommend the following additional steps to General 
Marshall: (1) that G-3 establish r atios for th e constitution and activation 
of chemical warfare service troops {Table 4^ and constitute and activate 

chemical mortar battalions on the basis of approved special projects rather 

"Memo, C CWS for CG SOS, n May 42, sub: Cml Warfare; with tabs A-G. CWS 

17 (i) Memo, ACofS OPD for ACofS G-3, 18 May 42, sub: Cml Warfare Program. OPD 
320.2. (2) The proposals, as revised by OPD, evolved from a conference between General Eisen- 
hower, Brig. Gen. Robert W. Crawford, and Brig. Gen. Lehman W. Miller. 

18 The Assistant Chief of Staff, G— 3, did not concur in the strength to be allotted the battalions, 
desiring they be at reduced strength until assigned to overseas task forces. G-3 also indicated that 
action had begun on revised training standards and on enlargement of the Replacement Training 
Center and the Officer Candidate School. See Memo, G-3 for OPD, n Jun 42. WDGCT 320.2. 


Table 4 — 1942 Proposed Modification in CWS Troop Basis 


As of 



25 May 

13 August 

Ground Force Type Units 



Chemical Co (Depot) 




Chemical Co (Decontamination) 



Chemical Co (Impregnation) _ 



Chemical Co (Field Laboratory) 



Chemical Co (Smoke Generator) 



Chemical Co (Composite) . _ 




Chemical Co (Mortar) . 



Chemical Bn (Mortar) 



Air Force Type Units 

Chemical Co (Air Operations) 

(N)» _ 










(D) — 



(Q-— — - 



Chemical Co (Maintenance) 



Chemical Co (Depot) - 



Chemical Co (Storage) _ 



Chemical Co (Service Aviation) 



B In addition to chemical sections in headquarters of units as authorized by approved Tables of Organization. 

b A decrease in Air Force personnel led to the reorganization of the chemical company (air bomhardment) and chemical 
company fair operations) into the chemical company (air operations) which had the same organization for all bombard- 
ment groups. 

Source: Tab E to Memo, ACofS OPD for CofS USA, 13 Aug 42, sub: Revision in the Cml Warfare Program. OPD 385 

than assign one per division, and (2) that the Chief of Staff sign a letter 
requesting the Combined Chiefs of Staffs (CCS) to give early consideration 
to an over-all directive which could be used as a basis for production and 
allocation of chemical warfare material and troops available to the United 
Nations. 19 The new troop basis increased the size of the CWS to 4,970 
officers and 47,192 enlisted men. {Table j>) 

Several problems yet remained, such as formal confirmation of combat 
functions for the CWS, clarification of training responsibilities for CWS 
units, the adjustment of the Army Supply Program to handle prospective 
United Nations* requirements, and clarification of Air Force requirements 
together with improvement in co-ordination of the manufacture of chemical 

19 (i)Memo, OPD for Cof S, n Aug 42 , sub: Revision of Cml Warfare Program. OPD 385 
CWP, sec IIA. (2) See below, |Chapter IV. 


Table 5 — CWS Troop Basis, as of 13 August 1942 



Enlisted Men 

Total . 



Air Force Type Units . 



Ground and Service Force Type Units _ 



War Department Overhead (Arsenals, Schools, Procurement). 



Source: Tab E to Memo, ACofS OPD for Cof S USA, 13 Aug 42, sub: Revision in the Chemical Warfare Program. OPD 385 

warfare equipment and aircraft. 20 In September 1942 OPD informed the 
ASF that the Chief of Staff had approved most of General Porter's major 
recommendations on gas warfare and that action had been taken to imple- 
ment them. 21 

When cables reached the War Department in the latter part of No- 
vember 1942 strongly suggesting that the enemy might soon resort to gas 
warfare, the Chief of Staff ordered the CWS to report on the status of 
overseas shipments of CWS supplies and on the extent of implementation 
of the protective equipment policy established the preceding June. 22 General 
Marshall apparently did not wish a gas warfare Pearl Harbor. 

The Gas Mission Defined 

General Marshall conveyed his concern over the potentialities of the 
gas warfare situation to Secretary Stimson in mid-December 1942 when 
the Chief of Staff expressed his conviction that the Germans would soon 
launch gas attacks on the United Nations. 23 Apparently both the director 
of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, Dr. Vannevar Bush, 
and the chairman of the National Defense Research Committee, Dr. James 
Conant, were present in the office of the Secretary of War when General 

30 Memo, ACofS OPD (Maj Gen Thomas T. Handy) for CofS, 13 Aug 42, sub: Revision of 
the Cml Warfare Program, The memos for record made on the OPD file copy provide an excellent 
means for tracing the steps taken by the War Department to implement General Porter's proposals. 
OPD 385 CWP, sec IIA. 

21 Memo, ACofS OPD for CG SOS, 2 Sep 42, sub: Revision in the Cml Warfare Program. 
OPD 385 CWP, sec IIA. 

"Memo, CofS for CG SOS, 4 Dec 42, sub: Status of Cml Warfare Preparation. OPD 385 
CWP, sec IIA. In June 1942 the War Department had established the policy of immediately 
furnishing overseas personnel with some protective clothing and ointment and of ultimately 
supplying them with complete sets of protective clothing together with a sufficient number of 
plants to reimpregnate the clothing after laundering. See Ltr, TAG to CGs All Overseas Depts 
et al.j 10 Jun 42, sub: Cml Warfare Protective Clothing. AG 420. 

23 Memo, Harvey Bundy for SW, 21 Dec 42. OPD 385 CWP, sec IIA. 



Marshall made his remarks, for a week later both these distinguished 
scientists posed several incisive questions to Secretary Stimson relative to 
the fears expressed by the Chief of Staff. Bush and Conant asked whether 
the War Department had taken adequate steps to prepare American soldiers 
for defense against new German toxic agents. 24 Second, they inquired 
whether the United States was fully prepared to retaliate and, if so, 
whether a public announcement to that effect should be made. 25 

These pointed questions, raised by the two civilians who were prin- 
cipally responsible for marshaling the scientific skills of the nation for 
World War II, deserved serious study. Probably the questions were asked 
without full knowledge of the numerous measures taken by the War De- 
partment during 1942 to improve the capacity of the Army for waging 
gas warfare. But they served as the occasion for a hasty War Department 
survey of what had been accomplished under the Porter proposals, Harvey 
Bundy, special assistant to Secretary Stimson, incorporated the inquiries 
in a memorandum to Mr. Stimson on 21 December. Three days later it 
was in General Porter's hands for comment and recommendation. 26 

The Chief, CWS, indicated in rather broad terms what had been done 
and what remained to be accomplished. He assured the General Staff that 
the service gas mask was the best in the world and that it provided ade- 
quate protection against the German toxic agents to which Bush and Conant 
had referred. On the less favorable side, he pointed out that maneuver 
reports and inspections at ports of embarkation indicated that U.S. troops 
had received inadequate defensive training in the use of protective items 
other than the gas mask. 27 As for the ability of the United States to 
retaliate, General Porter stated that preparations included large stocks of 
mustard gas on hand and a large and steadily increasing capacity for its 
production. The Chief, CWS, reiterated his feeling that an overt threat of 
retaliation would serve no useful purpose and might be taken by the enemy 
as a sign of weakness. 28 

34 The Germans were then thought to be preparing to employ both nitrogen mustard and 
hydrocyanic acid. Although the latter was a well-known agent in World War I, a serious problem 
had been that of producing adequate concentrations in the field. It was believed that the Germans 
might have solved this problem. 

25 Memo, Bunay for SW, 21 Dec 42. OPD 385 CWP, sec IIA. 

26 Memo, C Log Gp OPD for C CWS, 24 Dec 42, sub: Cml Warfare Preparedness of U.S. 
Army. OPD 385 CWP, sec IIA. 

27 These items included protective clothing, protective ointment, and gas detection equipment, 
^(i) Memo, C CWS for OPD, 24 Dec 42, sub: Cml Warfare Preparedness of U.S. Army. 

OPD 385 CWP, sec IIA. (2) In this instance, the United States feared that Germany might 



i-Ton Chemical Containers awaiting shipment at a CWS storage yard, 
i 943 . 

OPD promptly assembled representatives of the CWS, ASF G-3, G-4, 
AGF, and AAF to study the deficiencies noted by Porter. Upon examination 
of the vital training problem, the conferees concluded that the Army was 
not fully prepared to defend itself against gas attack because certain items 
of individual protective equipment had only recently been standardized 
and made available for training. They were of the opinion that the current 
training policy was satisfactory but that until production of the new equip- 
ment caught up with requirements the training program would be incom- 
plete. In the meantime, one proposed solution was to re-emphasize priority 
for the chemical warfare training program of the Army, especially in field 
maneuvers. More important, it was decided that the Chief, CWS, as 
technical adviser to the Chief of Staff, ought to conduct any troop inspections 
necessary to determine the technical status of chemical warfare training. 
On the question of retaliation, the consensus was that the Army Air Forces 
could do little with the small stocks of gas munitions then overseas. The 

initiate gas warfare. In May 1942 President Roosevelt had warned Japan against the use of ga s in 
China and had promised retaliation if such acts continued. For details, see below, Chapter IV. 



AAF and the CWS agreed that the immediate answer was a higher shipping 
priority. 29 

On the basis of General Porter's letter and the meetings held by 
representatives of the War Department General Staff, General Marshall 
informed the Secretary of War: (i) that the Army would be provided 
with new protective equipment by June 1943 (barring manufacturing pri- 
ority difficulties); (2) that steps had been taken to expedite the training 
of the Army in the use of protective equipment; and (3) that American 
forces overseas were currently unprepared to retaliate but, granted the 
necessary shipping priorities, available equipment and munitions could 
be distributed by May 1943. The Chief of Staff concurred with General 
Porter that no public threats of retaliation should be made. 30 A more com- 
plete report on CWS and War Department accomplishments since May 
1942 was submitted at the end of December in answer to General Marshall's 
inquiry of 4 December. This report thoroughly reviewed the chemical war- 
fare status of the United States and listed steps taken toward readiness. 
The CWS recommended that higher priorities be given for critical materials 
needed in the completion of impregnating plants, that additional impreg- 
nating (later known as processing) companies be authorized, and that 
special directives governing the issue of impregnated clothing be published 
for all theaters where gas warfare was likely. 31 

The gas mission of the Chemical Warfare Service had thus crystallized 
by the close of 1942 as the result of almost a year of staff studies, dis- 
cussion, alarms, and War Department directives. A number of factors 
had combined to bring about a more realistic attitude toward gas warfare 
than had been present at any time since 1918. Of these, the most impelling 
was the fear that the enemy might initiate gas warfare. Under the leadership 
of Secretary Stimson, Assistant Secretary McCloy, General Marshall, and 
General Porter, the War Department began active preparations to meet 
such a contingency in a manner that would insure American supremacy 
in this field. 

as Memos for Red, 26 and 29 Dec 42, on Memo, ACofS OPD for CofS, 31 Dec 42, sub: 
Summary of Cml Warfare Preparations. OPD 385 CWP, sec II A. 

30 Memo, ACofS OPD for CofS, 31 Dec 42, sub: Summary of Cml Warfare Preparations, with 
Tab A, Proposed Memo for SW. OPD 385 CWP, sec IIA. 

31 Memo, C CWS for ACofS OPD, 30 Dec 42, sub: Status of Cml Warfare Preparation. OPD 
385 CWP, sec IIA. 


The United States Chemical 
Warfare Committee 

The War Department's emphasis in early 1942 on preparation for 
retaliation gas warfare made evident the need for an agency to furnish 
advice on chemical warfare policy, to develop a procurement and supply 
program, and to co-ordinate these matters with the United Nations, par- 
ticularly Great Britain. 1 In the late spring of 1942 the policy on gas warfare 
of the United States and Great Britain was announced in unilateral state- 
ments by Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt. 2 On 10 May 
Churchill declared: "I wish to make it plain that we shall treat the unpro- 
voked use of poison gas against our Russian ally exactly as if it were used 
against ourselves, and if we are satisfied that this new outrage has been 
committed by Hitler we will use our great and growing air superiority 
in the west to carry gas warfare on the largest possible scale far and wide 
upon the towns and cities of Germany/' A month later President Roosevelt 
stated: "I desire to make it unmistakably clear that if Japan persists in this 
inhuman form of warfare against China or against any other of the United 
Nations, such action will be regarded by this government as though taken 
against the United States and retaliation in kind and in full measure will 
be meted out." 3 

I (i)As early as February 1942 the Chief, CWS, had voiced the need for such an agency. See 
Memo, C CWS for ACofS G-4, 24 Feb 42, sub: Co-ord of Cml Warfare Allied Activities. CWS 
400.12/17. Maj. Gen. Brehon B. Somervell approved the procedure. See Memo, ACofS G-4 for 
C CWS, 25 Feb 42. G-4/34I99- (2) Before the United States entered World War II there had 
been an exchange of information on chemical warfare through the assistant military attache in 
London and through the representatives of the British Purchasing Commission in Washington. 

3 On 1 April 1942 Churchill had informed Roosevelt of assurances which the British had given 
Marshal Joseph Stalin — that any German use of gas against the USSR would lead to unlimited 
British retaliation. See Winston S. Churchill, The Hinge of Fate (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 
Company, 1950), pp. 203, 329-30. 

3 ( 1 ) Churchill's statement and that of Roosevelt are quoted in CCS 106/2, 14 Nov 42, Allied 
Cml Warfare Program. This paper was the basis for Anglo-American gas warfare policy and 
co-ordinated procurement and supply of chemical warfare materiel. (2) The Chinese had re- 
peatedly accused the Japanese of using gas. This charge was never definitely established. 



These statements established the general gas warfare policy of the 
respective nations, but no organization had been established to implement 
co-ordination between the parallel policies of the United States and the 
British Commonwealth of Nations, and procedures for co-ordination of 
effort in event of enemy gas attack were necessary as well as preparation 
for a combined procurement and supply program. The British in 1940 had 
established the Inter-Service Committee on Chemical Warfare (ISCCW), 
a group representative of all services reporting to the British Chiefs of 
Staff; and the United States had the Chemical Warfare Service which rep- 
resented the interests of the Army, the component Army Air Forces, and, 
by informal arrangement, the Navy. In August 1942 General Marshall 
brought the question of co-ordination to the attention of the Combined 
Chiefs of Staff and offered the services of the Chief of the Chemical Warfare 
Service as adviser to the CCS. 4 The Combined Chiefs referred this suggestion 
to the Combined Staff Planners (CPS) who created an ad hoc chemical 
warfare subcommittee headed by the Chief, CWS, which was to define the 
United Nations chemical warfare policy and draw up a directive upon 
which a co-ordinated United Nations chemical warfare procurement and 
supply policy could be based. 5 During discussions of initial drafts of a 
report within the ad hoc subcommittee, the British representative proposed 
establishment of a permanent subcommittee of the Combined Staff Planners 
to carry out the combined program. 6 This proposal was dropped during 
the ad hoc subcommittee meeting of 22 October 1942 upon general agree- 
ment to use existing agencies. 7 A week later the ad hoc subcommittee re- 
ported the results of its study to the Combined Staff Planners. 8 

The chemical warfare subcommittee recommended that gas warfare be 

Memo, CofS for U.S. Secretariat CCS, 27 Aug 42, sub: Allied Cml Warfare Program. 
WDCSA 470.71 (8—13-42). Reproduced a s CCS 106, 28 Aug 42. (2) For the background of 
this recommendation, see above JChapter Hit Both in CWS 470.6/2754. 

5 (i) CPS 45/D, 5 Sep 42, Allied Cml Warfare Program. (2) Memo, Secy JPS for Gen 
Porter et al, 9 Sep 42, sub: Allied Cml Warfare Program. Both in CWS 314.7 USCWC file. (3) 
The subcommittee was dissolved following approval of CCS 106/2 at the 48th meeting of the 
CCS on 14 November 1942. 

6 Memo, Wing Comdr W. Oulton, RAF, for Gen Porter et al., 19 Oct 42. CWS 314.7 
USCWC File. 

7 Min of Mtg, CPS Subcom on UN Cml Warfare Program, 22 Oct 42. CWS 470.6/2754. 
8 (i) Memo, C CWS for Brig Gen Albert C. Wedemeyer and Capt R. L. Conolly, USN, 11 

Sep 42, sub: Allied Cml Warfare Program (CPS 45/D). (2) Memo, Porter for Secy CPS, 30 
Oct 42, sub: Allied Cml Warfare Program. Both in CWS 470.6/2754. (3) Drafts and notes of 
the ad hoc subcommittee are filed in CWS 470.6/2754. (4) Other subcommittee members were: 
Capts. A. R. Early and O. K. Olsen, USN; Maj. Lawrence J. Lincoln, USA; and Wing Com- 
mander Oulton, RAF, 


undertaken by both U.S. and British Commonwealth forces on the order 
of the Combined Chiefs of Staff after approval by appropriate governmental 
authority, or independently by any such nation, if in retaliation, on the 
decision of a representative especially designated for that purpose by its 
highest governmental authority. 9 It also recommended that either U.S. or 
British Commonwealth forces should provide evidence of the enemy's 
use of gas in case combined action was requested. When the decision to 
retaliate was made independently, the acting nation should give immediate, 
confirmed information to the Combined Chiefs of Staff who would then 
notify cbbelligerents. Lastly, the subcommittee recommended that the CCS 
issue a directive for a co-ordinated chemical warfare procurement and 
supply program and included a suggested directive as a separate annex to 
the report. This proposed directive placed responsibility for the chemical 
warfare procurement and supply program in the United States with the 
Commanding General, Army Services Forces, who was to designate the 
Chief, CWS, and such other officers as he might deem appropriate as a 
committee to execute this responsibility. This group, in co-ordination with 
the U.S. Navy representative, would then contact the appropriate British 
agency which would be selected by the British Chiefs of Staff. Both the 
American and British agencies were to be staff in nature; where command 
decisions were required these were to be obtained through normal command 
channels. The proposed directive concluded with a list of specific functions 
which the two committees were to perform. The Combined Chiefs of Staff 
approved the report with but minor changes, and on 14 November 1942 
it became an official document known as CCS 106/2. 

Mission and Functions of the Committee 

This document, CCS 106/2, described in some detail the duties of both 
American and British agencies in co-ordinating the chemical warfare pro- 
curement and supply program. It listed seven separate functions for which 
these agencies were responsible, six of which dealt exclusively with the 
production and supply of gas warfare materiel. 10 The Combined Chiefs 
of Staff directed these agencies to establish potential production capacity 
capable of rapid expansion to meet the needs of gas warfare while keeping 

s In December 1942 the highest governmental authority in the United States was officially 
defined as the President, who, it was understood, could act on the recommendation of the U.S. 
Joint Chiefs of Staff. See JCS 176/1, 31 Dec 42, Allied Cml Warfare Program (Rpt by the JPS). 

10 These functions were substantially the same as those listed in the report by the chemical 
warfare subcommittee of the CPS. 



current production on the minimum level compatible with this goal. The 
agencies were to provide for initial stocks at levels which would permit 
gas warfare to be carried on pending expansion of production; they were 
to establish uniform initial stock levels of all types of equipment for 
combined theaters, and they were to determine and maintain minimum 
levels of individual and collective protective equipment and to set up 
logistical factors for antigas equipment, gas weapons, and munitions. A 
further and very important function was the initiation of a program for 
standardizing and interchanging all types of chemical warfare equipment 
used by the United States and Great Britain. The directive concluded with 
the admonition that, in the execution of these policies, "the extent of the 
measures adopted would be limited to those compatible with a balanced 
over-all munitions program/' 11 

To carry out these provisions the Commanding General, ASF, promptly 
established a committee headed by General Porter and including repre- 
sentatives chosen by G-2 and OPD of the War Department General Staff, 
the Requirements and Operations Divisions of the ASF, and the U.S. Navy. 12 

General Porter asked the chiefs of the Industrial, Technical, Operations, 
and Training Divisions of his office to appoint qualified officers to represent 
their divisions in the work required by the CCS directive. As the Chief, 
CWS, correctly observed, this work involved no small amount of time and 
travel. 13 Members of the Office of the Chief, CWS, eventually performed 
a great deal of the work of the committee. 

The new committee, as yet undesignated, held its first meeting on i 

"CCS 106/2, 14 Nov 42, App. A, Directive for a Co-ordinated UN Cml Warfare Proc and 
Supply Program. 

12 (i) Ltr, CG SOS for C CWS, 1 Dec 42, sub: Allied Cml Warfare Program. SOS 
470.6/2754 (later CCWCI). (2) On 30 November 1942 Admiral Ernest J. King directed that 
a naval representative be appointed. See Ltr, COMINCH to VCNO, 30 Nov 42, sub: Allied Cml 
Warfare Program. COMINCH file, FFI/S77/A16.3, serial 001441. (3) A British representative 
also sat with this committee. By its third meeting on 17 February 1943, a representative from 
the AAF had been named, and late in the year an AGF officer was oppointed. CCWC 19/1, 17 
Feb 43, Min of Mtg 17 Feb 43. CCWC, USCWC, and CWC papers cited in this chapter are 
located in CWS 314.7 USCWS file. (4) USCWC 142, 30 Mar 45, Performance of Responsibility 
for Carrying Out a Co-ordinated Anglo-American Cml Warfare Proc and Supply Program (U.S, 
Agency). Appendix A lists the members of the committee and subcommittees during the war. 
This document is an account of the USCWC to that date, prepared by the secretary, Lt. Col. 
Jacob K. Javits, CWS, and submitted by the chairman. 

13 (i) Memo. C CWS for C Ind Div et al., 19 Dec 42, sub: Allied Cml Warfare Program. 
CWS 470.6/2754. (2) The workload of the secretary and the OC CWS became such by 1944 
that the Chief, CWS, requested that two officers and three civilians be provided for USCWC 
administration. Memo, C CWS for CG ASF, 1 Feb 44, sub: Co-ordinated Anglo-American Proc 
and Supply Program (Secretariat). CWS 314.7 USCWC File. 


December 1942 to consider the Allied chemical warfare program. 14 Conduct 
of this meeting and of the subsequent monthly meetings followed the 
general procedures of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) committees. 15 For 
instance, matters brought up for consideration were, whenever practicable, 
presented in the form of a paper which the secretary circulated among the 
members before placing the item on the agenda. 

At its second meeting, in January 1943, the committee adopted the 
name Combined Chemical Warfare Committee (CCWC) because it ap- 
parently considered its mission as being advisory to the Combined Chiefs 
of Staff. In March the newly appointed British representative on the CCWC, 
Lt. Col. Humphrey Paget of the Royal Engineers, took formal issue with 
this interpretation of the committee's position. 16 The British viewpoint was 
that the committee was simply an advisory body to the U.S. Joint Chiefs 
of Staff just as the British Inter-Service Committee on Chemical Warfare 
advised the British Chiefs of Staff. Paget argued that his role on the CCWC 
was that of a British liaison officer. 17 Colonel Paget's objections initiated 
a period of controversy and concern over the designation and role of the 

General Porter was visiting London to discuss implementation of CCS 
106/2 at the time Colonel Paget's formal objections were received. The 
Operations Division of the War Department General Staff became con- 
cerned over the possibility of British pressure on General Porter for the 
establishment of an over-all combined committee to sit in London. The 
British had taken a renewed interest in chemical warfare, OPD felt, and 
might try to establish a combined committee in London despite the published 
British view of combined machinery as consisting of parallel joint agencies. 
OPD sought and obtained concurrence of the ASF, AAF, and the Navy 

14 Ltr, Gen Porter to Brig Gen John R. Deane, Secy JCS, 15 Dec 42, sub: Allied Cml Warfare 
Programs. CWS 470.6/2754. Reproduced as CCWC 6. 

15 For details on the operations of the JCS committee system, see Vernon E. Davis, History of 
Joint Chiefs of Staff in World War II, Vol. II, Development of JCS Committee Structure. MS. 

CCWC 29/1, 19 Mar 43, Min of Mtg CCWC 19 Mar 43. (2) Lt. Col. D. J. C. Wise- 
man, Gas Warfare, volume I of Special Weapons and Types of Warfare, The Second World War: 
I 939~ I 945, Army (British War Office, 1951), p. 122. (3) Colonel Paget's predecessor, Col. F. 
C. Nottingham, had previously registered verbal protest at this interpretation. (4) The Arcadia 
Conference in December 1941 had given precision to the word "combined" by reserving it to 
describe the machinery and action of the British-American partnership. The British thought of 
combined machinery as parallel joint committees in both capitals. See Duncan Hall, North 
American Supply, History Of The Second World War (United Kingdom Civil Series) (London: 
Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1955 ), pp. 343, 347. 

17 Paget's views are summarized in a memorandum for the subcommittee, Title and Functions 
of CCWC, 25 March 1943. 



Department in the view that a combined committee should be located in 
Washington because the Combined Chiefs of Staff and most of its sub- 
ordinate and supporting committees were located there. OPD further 
argued that since most of the assignments of chemical warfare materiel 
would be made from U.S. production, it was not logical that the assigning 
body sit in London. The Chief of Staff expressed his agreement with these 
views, and a cable was sent to General Porter stating the U.S. position. 18 

The United States had reversed its view of the committee function since 
the report of the JSP ad hoc committee when the Americans had argued for 
the use of existing agencies. It is possible that they regretted that decision. 
The Combined Chemical Warfare Committee appointed a subcommittee 
to examine the question of functions and derivation of authority for its 
group. This subcommittee inconclusively reported that the CCWC was 
neither combined nor joint. It did note that its functions more nearly 
approached those of a joint committee. When General Porter returned 
from London, the subcommittee report was taken up at the 30 April 1943 
meeting, but the discussion bogged down because of conflicting views. 19 

Meanwhile, on 28 April 1943, the CCWC was officially notified that 
the ISCCW was the agency designated by the British Chiefs of Staff to 
act on CCS 106/2. 20 It became apparent that the British concept of parallel 
joint committees was the most acceptable solution to the organizational 
problem. At Lt. Gen. Brehon B. Somervell's suggestion, the CCWC there- 
fore adopted the title, United States Chemical Warfare Committee 
(USCWC) at its May meeting. 21 The question of organization and functions 
was settled, and the arrangement worked so well that a subsequent attempt 
to rewrite CCS 106/2 to provide for a combined committee was abortive. 

The two committees achieved close co-operation in carrying out the 
mission given them by the Combined Chiefs of Staff. As in the case of 
the Combined Chiefs of Staff, which drew strength from the personal 
friendship of Sir John Dill and General Marshall, the strong bonds between 
members of the American and British committees made it possible for all 

18 (i)Memo, ACofS OPD for CofS, 13 Mar 43, sub: Instructions to C CWS. OPD 385 CWP, 
sec IIB. This memo has in ink at the bottom "OK GCM" [George C. Marshall]. (2) CM-OUT 
6548, 18 Mar 43. 

13 CCWC 34 and CCWC 34/1, 30 Apr 43. Min of Mtg CCWC 30 Apr 43. The second paper 
is a revised version of the minutes. 

20 Memo, Col Paget for C CWS. Also reproduced as CCWC 33. 

31 (i)Memo, CG ASF for C CWS, 6 May 43, sub: Allied Cml Warfare Program. Adopted as 
CCWC 35, (2) Memo, CofEngrs British Army Staff for C CWS, 6 May 43, No sub. CWS 314.7. 
USCWC file. (3) USCWC 38, 20 May 43. Min of Mtg 20 May 43. 


their undertakings to be conducted with strength, forbearance, and mutual 
understanding. 22 As one of the principal members of the USCWC expressed 
it: "The British constantly pointed to the combined C.W. effort as the best 
combined effort throughout the war. Many, many times I've heard my 
British friends remark that they wished they could enjoy the same effective, 
smooth, pleasant co-operation with other U.S. agencies. And this model 
of co-operative effort was accomplished in spite of wide basic difference 
of opinion as to effectiveness of gas and use of gas." 23 The U.S. representa- 
tives, and particularly those from the Chemical Warfare Service, held the 
view that gas was a decisive weapon if dispersed in sufficient quantities at 
the right places and at the right time. The British, on the other hand, 
regarded gas as a supplementary weapon to be used in conjunction with 
high explosives and incendiaries. 24 

The two committees were able to co-operate more effectively not only 
through a continual exchange of information but also through occasional 
visits by official representatives. In September 1943, about six months after 
General Porter's visit to Great Britain, two other members of the USCWC, 
Brig. Gen. Alden H. Waitt and Lt. Col. Jacob K. Javits, visited London 
to confer with members of the ISCCW. At these meetings, discussion 
centered on varied subjects such as the allocation of the chemical warfare 
effort of the two countries, the interchangeability of protective equipment, 
chemical weapons, and munitions, and the co-ordination of logistical poli- 
cies. 25 In February 1944 a British delegation headed by the ISCCW chair- 
man, Air Marshal N. H. Bottomly, and including Maj. Gen. G. Brunskill 
of the British Directorate of Special Weapons and Vehicles, attended a 
meeting of the USCWC in Washington where the progress of the Anglo- 

22 Hall, North American Supply, pp. 348-49. 

23 Comments by Maj Gen Alden H. Waitt, USA (Ret.), 1955, on draft copy of this chapter. 
2, (i) Wiseman, Gas Warfare, p. 126. (2) Rpt of AC CWS (USCWC 53/1, 27 Oct 43), 

for Fid Opns (Waitt) to USCWC, 27 Oct 43. (3) Unlike the U.S. Army, the British Army 
had no central organization dealing with chemical warfare. Different arms and branches handled 
chemical warfare duties. For instance, Ordnance was responsible for the supply and maintenance 
of chemical weapons and equipment in the field; the Royal Engineers performed laboratory 
analysis; the Pioneer Corps furnished smoke companies; while staff advice was provided by GSC 
officers trained in chemical warfare and assisted at higher headquarters by technical officers who 
were trained chemists. The limited amount of materiel and manpower in the British Army was a 
governing factor in determining the effort which could be devoted to gas weapons. See USCWC 
96, 21 Feb 44, Min of Mtg, 12 Feb 44. 

2fl (i) Ibid. (2) CCW (43) 4th Mtg, 10 Sep 43, Min of Mtg 8 Sep 43. CCW was the publica- 
tions symbol for the British Inter-Service Committee on Chemical Warfare. (3) CCW (43) 5th 
Mtg, 8 Oct 43, Min of Mtg 5 Oct 43. 



American chemical warfare program was discussed. 20 These visits, and 
others like them, definitely resulted in closer co-operation between the 
British and American committees. 27 

In carrying out its duties the USCWC worked through a subcommittee 
system. At first these subcommittees were ad hoc in nature, but on 8 Novem- 
ber 1943, pressure of an ever-increasing number of War Department 
requests led to establishment of four permanent subcommittees: Chemical 
Warfare Operations, Gas and Smoke, Chemical Warfare Protective Equip- 
ment, and Incendiaries. Appointment of some ad hoc committees, however, 
continued, including such groups as the Joint Chemical Spray Project Sub- 
committee. 28 Membership on the subcommittees was not limited to USCWC 
members but was drawn from U.S. and British experts as needed. 

Activities and Accomplishments 

The USCWC continued in existence until after the close of World 
War II. During the w r ar the committee co-ordinated supply between the 
U.S. services and with the British, it exchanged information on research; 
it brought about a broad program of interchangeability and standardization 
of all types of chemical warfare materiel used by U.S. and British Com- 
monwealth forces; it prepared periodic reports of readiness for chemical 
warfare; and in conjunction with various committees of the Joint Chiefs 
of Staff it established a logistical basis for gas warfare. Unlike the ISCCW, 
its British counterpart, the USCWC dealt with incendiary agents and 
munitions and co-ordinated this program with the British Ministry of Air- 
craft Production and the Air Ministry. 29 

Co-ordination of Supply 

To achieve the most effective use of raw materials, production facilities, 
manpower, and shipping the United States and the British Commonwealth 
of Nations had to co-ordinate their procurement and supply programs in 

2a See reference cited in |Note 24(3) above] 

2T See excerpt from Rpt of Chmn ISCCW on Visit to U.S.A., Feb-Mar 44 Quoted in USCWC 
112, 25 Apr 44. Not e by the Secreta ry [Rpts of British Visitors, Feb-Mar 44]. 

28 (1) See below, [pages 72-73] (2) At the 30 October 1943 meeting, Col. H. Spencer Struble, 
ASF, suggested the establishment of the permanent subcommittees on the ground that the General 
Staff and the ASF were regarding the USCWC as an agency for the disposition of high echelon 
chemical warfare policies. See USCWC 54, 30 Oct 43, Min of Mtg 30 Oct 43, and USCWC 55, 
11 Nov 43, Min of Adjourned Mtg of U.S. Cml Warfare Comm 8 Nov 43. 

19 Memo, Chmn USCWC for DCofS, 21 Jan 44, sub: Co-ordinated Cml Warfare Program. 
CWS 314-7 USCWC File. 


HC Mi Smoke Pots in Use, Rapido River, Italy, January 1944. 

World War II. Of these factors shipping was usually the most critical. 
CCS 106/2 provided that British and American agencies should initiate a 
program for the standardization and interchangeability of all types of 
chemical warfare equipment used by the respective nations. By this means 
the planners hoped that the various fighting fronts could be supplied with 
many chemical warfare items from the United States or Great Britain, which- 
ever was closer, and valuable shipping space could be saved. Such items 
as toxic agents, bombs, flame throwers, smoke pots, incendiaries, and pro- 
tective equipment were among those exchanged for this purpose. 30 

One of the earliest questions studied by the USCWC was the co- 
ordination of Anglo-American requirements for smoke-producing materials. 
Even before the formation of the USCWC in 1942 the United States and 
Great Britain had begun talks on this subject. Later, the invasion of French 
North Africa brought with it a need for smoke pots to screen the ports 
against German air attack. In the summer of 1943 the U.S. Army did not 

30 The secretary of the committee felt that the co-ordination of supply was the most important 
work of the USCWC. See Ltr, Jacob K. Javits to OCMH, 18 May 55. 



yet have a large smoke pot of the type needed for starting and maintaining 
a good smoke screen. The USCWC, therefore, arranged for the British to 
supply large numbers of their No. 24 smoke pots until the United States 
should finish developing what was to become the M5 smoke pot. 31 This 
agreement was expanded to the establishment of a basic policy that, insofar 
as practicable, all troops in the European Theater of Operations (ETO) 
would use British smoke pots and all forces in the North African theater 
would be supplied with smoke pots by the United States. The two com- 
mittees agreed that since the United States could not yet fulfill its responsi- 
bility for supply to the Mediterranean, 75 percent of that theater's require- 
ments would be filled by the British and 25 percent from the United States. 
The British agreed to provide 600,000 smoke pots for U.S. forces in the 
ETO. 32 Early in 1944 the USCWC reciprocated by consenting to furnish 
floating smoke pots to Anglo-American forces in the European theater. 33 
These plans worked out substantially as scheduled. Large-size U.S. smoke 
pots came off production lines in the spring of 1944. The United States 
supplied these pots to United Nations troops in the Mediterranean; the 
British supplied the forces in the ETO with land smoke pots, while the 
United States provided them with floating smoke pots. 

Other examples of items in which co-ordination of supply was effected 
were gas bombs and tropical bleach. Until May 1944 the British supplied 
the U.S. Eighth Air Force in England with ten thousand phosgene-filled 
500-pound bombs. 34 In the fall of 1943 USCWC representatives arranged 
for the procurement of fifteen thousand tons of tropical bleach from Great 
Britain, a measure which saved much valuable shipping space. 35 In the 
summer of 1944 the committee representatives made plans for the supply 

31 (i)CCW (43) 33, 3 Oct 43, Rpt by AC U.S. CWS (Waitt). (2) USCWS 55, " Nov 43, 
Min of Adjourned Mtg of U.S. Cm] Warfare Comm 8 Nov 43. (3) Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, 
From Laboratory to Field. 

2 (i) See Note 31 (1) above. (2) See reference cited in Note 12 (4) above. 

33 Ibid. 

34 (i) USCWC Periodic Rpt of Readiness for Cm! Warfare as of 1 Jan 45, p. 104. (2) 
USCWC 44, 24 Jan 43, Min of Mtg 24 Jan 43. (3) CCW (43) 29, 25 Aug 43, First Interim 
Rpt by Air Ministry Tech Subcom. (4) CCW (43) 4th Mtg, Min of Mtg 8 Sep 43, p 5. (5) 
The United States was anxious to have Great Britain supply persistent and nonpersistent gas 
bombs for the AAF in England. Various obstacles, including the inability to interchange the 
British 65-pound mustard bomb for use on U.S. aircraft, compelled the War Department to ship 
thousands of American bombs to England. See Memo for Red on Memo, ACofS OPD for CG 
AAF, 24 Jun 43, sub: Eighth Air Force Preparedness for Offensive Cml Warfare. OPD 385 CWP, 
sec IV. U.S. production of phosgene bombs resulted in the shipment of thousands to Great 
Britain in 1944—45. (6) Bleach is used in decontamination. 

^(i) See page 8 of reference cited in Note 31 (1) above. See reference cited in Note 
I 12 (4) above. I 


of U.S. gas munitions for American aircraft operated by the Royal Aus- 
tralian Air Force in the Pacific 36 

A representative of the U.S. Navy served on the USCWC to achieve 
close interservice co-ordination. As early as January 1943 conferences were 
held under committee auspices in order to improve integration of Army 
and Navy chemical warfare programs. 37 These conferences were followed 
in March by the establishment of the basis for the Navy's chemical warfare 
program. 38 This integration of procurement and supply simplified pro- 
cedures and often led to considerable savings of men, materiel, and all- 
important shipping space. Many of the savings came in the field of protective 
equipment and supplies. The USCWC combined Navy, Marine Corps, and 
Merchant Marine requirements for bleach with those of the Army and 
reduced the total needs. When the committee discovered that Marine Corps 
requirements for decontaminating agent, noncorrosive (DANC), a special 
decontaminant for use on equipment, were greater than was indicated in 
the light of Army experience, the Marines were persuaded to reduce their 
estimates. 39 

Efforts to integrate requirements for impregnite and field impregnation 
plants began while the USCWC was studying the protective-clothing policy 
in late 1943. 40 As a result of commmittee efforts the Army agreed to assume 
the task of initial impregnation of Marine Corps uniforms and thus save 
supplies of critical acetylene tetrachloride, the solvent used in the impreg- 
nation process. 41 The United States also saved supplies of other chemicals 
as well as manpower, plants, and shipping space. Personnel shortages pre- 
vented the War Department from agreeing to a Navy proposal for the 
Army to handle reimpregnation of Navy and Marine Corps protective 
clothing in the event of gas warfare. 42 

30 USCWC 1 2 1/6, 26 Aug 44, Min of Mtg 22 Aug 44. 

37 Ltr, VCNO to C CWS, 1 Jan 43, sub: Navy Cml Warfare Program. 

38 Ltr, King to VCNO, 6 Mar 43, sub: Cml Warfare Munitions Program. FF 1/S/77/A16-3. 
Incl to Memo, CofS for CG AS F, 9 May 43, sam e sub. OPD 385 CWP, sec III, case 39. 

30 See reference cited in Notc |i2 (4) above~| 

40 Impregnation is the process of treating ordinary clothing with a chemical solution to make 
it resistant to the action of vapor and very small drops of blister or nerve gases. 

41 (i)USCWC 124/4, 19 Sep 44, Mm of Mtg Subcom on Protective Equipment 15 Sep 44. 
(2) USCWC 128/2, 9 Jan 45, Min of Mtg 2 Jan 45- 

"(i)Memo by Secy USCWC, ca. Mar 45. (2) USCWC 128/4, ca. Jan 45, U.S. Army Im- 
pregnation of U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps Protective Clothing. (3) Some idea of the 
immensity of the task which the Navy proposed in the event of gas warfare may be gleaned from 
the comparative strengths of the Army and Navy on 30 June 1945 which were 8,266,373 and 
3,855,969 respectively. The addition of nearly four million men with requirements for impregna- 
tion of clothing would have swamped Army resources, particularly as most of the Navy and 
Marine forces were in the Pacific. 



The further development of such agents as cyanogen chloride made 
desirable the inclusion, in 1944, of a special type of activated charcoal in 
gas-mask canisters. Although the Navy was procuring its own gas masks 
at the time, it applied to the Army for a supply of this charcoal. The Army 
felt unable to furnish more than 20 percent of the amount requested, since 
charcoal was in such short supply that any additional allocation to the 
Navy would have crippled the Army's own program. 43 The USCWC 
resolved the problem by arranging for a reduction in Navy requirements 
so that the Army could meet Navy schedules. The committee endeavored 
to co-ordinate Army-Navy gas-mask procurement and attained such success 
that the Navy began using Army masks on a substantial scale, particularly 
for shore-based personnel. 44 

The Navy generally used Army air munitions for its chemical munitions 
program. Special requirements, such as phosgene for filling Navy rockets, 
were co-ordinated by the USCWC. 15 A need developed for the collection 
of additional basic information on the effectiveness and proper tactical use 
of chemical spray as well as for tests to ascertain just how much agent 
would be required. This research was especially desirable because the Army 
and the Navy had differing theories on the use of aerial spray. 46 The 
USCWC set up a special subcommittee, the Joint Chemical Spray Project 
Subcommittee, to handle the co-ordination of this task. 47 

This subcommittee studied test reports from U.S. and British installa- 
tions and visited staff chemical officers of the Third Air Force, the AAF 
Board, and AAF Proving Ground Command to discover what information 
was available. The members found that considerable data existed on single- 
plane spray attacks but little on the use of several planes simultaneously 
for such attacks. The chairman of the USCWC wrote to the AAF and the 

43 (i) USCWC 82, 19 Jan 44, Min of Mtg Subcom on Protective Equipment 11 Jan 44. (2) 
Ltr, Chmn USCWC to Col L. A. Dessez, USMC, 18 Dec 43, sub: Co-ordinated Anglo-American 
Cml Warfare Proc and Supply Program (PCi Charcoal for Navy Masks). Reproduced as 
USCWC 78/3- 

"(i)USCWC Rpt of Readiness for Cml Warfare as of 1 Jul 44, p. 164. (2) The Army mask 
was unsuitable for shipboard use because of the nature of the work performed. The canister for 
the Navy mask was placed behind the neck of the individual instead of at his side. This permitted 
ease of movement at crowded battle stations. One third of the masks used by the Navy needed 
diaphragms or other means of voice transmission. USCWC 97, 1 Mar 44, Min of Mtg Subcom 
on Protective Equipment 16 Feb 44. 

45 USCWC 1 1 3? 4 May 44, Min of Mtg 28 Apr 44. 

4(i (i) Ltr Rpt, Jt Cml Spray Proj Subcom to Chmn USCWC, 27 Jan 45, sub: Rpt, Incl 3, 
Summary of Activit ies and Procedures, Sec III, p. 1. Hereafter cited as Jt Spray Proj Rpt. (2) See 
I Note 31 (2 ) abovel 

47 Memo, Chmn USCWC for Gen Waitt et al. } 28 Mar 44, incl to USCWC 111, 25 Apr 44. 


Navy requesting that the AAF set up a high-priority project to study for- 
mation spray attacks and that the Navy furnish the planes. 48 The AAF 
referred the question to the AAF Board which set up a first-priority board 
project. The first Navy test began at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, on 
29 June 1944, and the AAF tests started 10 July. The Navy theory of 
spraying was that it should be done at medium altitude (650-3,000 feet), 
while the AAF held that spray attacks should be executed either at tree-top 
level or above 10,000 feet. After the tests at Dugway the subcommittee 
agreed with Army Air Forces views that low level attacks were both safer 
and more effective. 49 

Interchangeability and Standardization of Materiel 

Interchangeability and standardization of materiel offered great oppor- 
tunities for logistic savings. During World War II the USCWC members 
learned that these goals were difficult to achieve in wartime without long 
experience in peacetime. Nonetheless, in World War II the United States 
and British Commonwealth of Nations made some progress in these fields. 
As the major portion of the Anglo-American gas effort would be from 
the air, the USCWC sought to interchange or standardize bombs, clusters, 
and spray tanks for use on U.S. or British aircraft. 50 The USCWC and the 
ISCCW agreed that in developing new items and in revising existing ma- 
teriel, interchangeability should be sought if at all practicable. On 12 
January 1943 the USCWC began discussions with the British Air Com- 
mission in Washington during which existing aircraft and munitions were 
analyzed and the most practical areas for standardization or interchange- 
ability considered. 51 Similar work started in March on smoke agents and 

The triple suspension bomb shackle made air chemical bombs generally 
interchangeable between British and American aircraft. But efforts to inter- 

4% Ltr, Chmn USCWC to CG AAF and CNO, 4 May 44, cited in Jt Spray Proj Rpt, Sec III, 
p. 5. 

49 Ibid., Sec I, p. 1. 

00 Over a year before Pearl Harbor a CWS officer was serving on a standardization committee 
of the Army-Navy-British Purchasing Commission Joint Committee, See 1st Ind, 30 Nov 40, on 
Ltr, Recorder Army-Navy-British Purchasing Comm Jt Com to C CWS, 27 Nov 40, sub: CWS 
Representative on Standardization Com of Army-Navy-British Purchasing Comm Jt Com. CWS 
3 34.8/1 36-145. See also Memo, Recorder, Working Subcom in Standardization for Recorder, Jt 
Aircraft Com, 31 Mar 42, sub: Special Subcom for Standardization of Aircraft Bombs. Jt Aircraft 
Com 334.8. 

"Memo for File, Lt Col Jacob K. Javits, Secy USCWC, 12 Jan 43, sub: Mtg British Air 
Comm, 11 Jan 43, on Aircraft Phases of Program. In CmlHo SOS GSCW 400.112/23. 



Laying Smoke Screen to conceal paratrooper landings near Lae, New Guinea, 
September 1943. Planes barely visible, extreme right, are Douglas A-20's, equipped 
with M10 spray tanks. 

change the British 65-pound mustard-gas bomb for use with U.S. bombers 
unfortunately were not successful. Rather than seek development of special 
bomb cases, the CWS attempted to have standard Ordnance bomb cases 
filled with gas and achieved notable success in the development of 500- 
pound and 1,000-pound nonpersistent gas bombs using the general purpose 
(GP) bomb case. Thanks to USCWC efforts, the British made their 500- 
pound phosgene bomb and their spray tanks suitable for use on American 
aircraft, thus bringing about a greater degree of readiness in the AAF in 
Great Britain during the earlier part of the war. 52 Tests arranged by the 
USCWC demonstrated that the U.S. Mio spray tank was satisfactory for 
British Typhoon aircraft. The American 100-pound bomb case, which 
could be filled with white phosphorus as well as mustard gas, was also 

As the use of colored smoke for different munitions expanded, stand- 

M See Note 45 above. 


ardization of colors became increasingly desirable. In January 1944 the 
USCWC studied the colors then in use for signaling smokes. The committee 
not only co-ordinated Army, Navy, and Marine Corps requirements with 
those of the British but also obtained acceptance of four standard colors — 
red, yellow, green, and violet — plus blue for the British. Stocks of other 
colored smokes such as orange were gradually used up. 53 

By the time the USCWC and the British ISCCW came to consider the 
question of standardization of protective equipment, most items had been 
issued to the troops in the field. The committees decided that it would be 
more feasible at that late date to obtain interchangeability by training 
American and British troops to use each other's protective equipment than 
to attempt to standardize such items. 54 The USCWC, therefore, made 
arrangements with the British for the supply of training materiel and 
equipment for demonstrations and inaugurated publications to acquaint 
U.S. and British chemical officers with each other's materiel. 55 Although 
both committees considered it desirable to obtain standardization of one 
assault gas mask for British and American troops, their efforts to achieve 
these objectives were unsuccessful. 

Research and Development 

For purposes of general co-ordination of research and development as 
well as for standardization and interchangeability the USCWC and ISCCW 
found it desirable to exchange military characteristics and requirements for 
new items and revisions of existing items. The two committees also deemed 
it important to exchange information on the lines of research and devel- 
opment that would be followed. 56 

Among the outstanding accomplishments of the committees was the 
co-ordination of research on the effectiveness of gas warfare in the tropics. 
When delegations from the ISCCW visited the United States in February 
1944 they exchanged papers on this topic with General Porter. Preliminary 

53 (i) USCW C 81, 19 Jan 44, Min of Mtg Subcom on Gas and Smoke n Jan 44. (2) See 
reference cited in Note 24(3) above. (3) See No te 41( 2 ) above. (4) USCWC Periodic Rpt of 
R eadiness for Cm (" Warfare as of 1 Jan 45, p. 62. 

54 See Note 24(2) above. 
(1) WD Pamphlet 3-1, 15 Jun 44, Comparison of U.S. and British Cml Warfare Offensive 
Equipment; WD Pamphlet 3-2, 6 Jan 44, Comparison of U.S. and British Cm] Warfare Protective 
Equipment. These publications contained sufficient descriptive matter to enable troop s in the field 
to requisition each other's m ateriel. (2) See reference cited in iNote 12(4) above. I 

5« c - r7~T~ / ^ i 1 1 — 1 

' See Note 31(1) above. 



studies and research had indicated that gas possessed certain special advan- 
tages when used in tropical regions. The two committees eventually agreed 
that definite answers should be obtained on the behavior and usefulness 
of gas under such circumstances. 57 Representatives of the two committees, 
as well as of American, British, and Canadian chemical warfare agencies, 
and of the NDRC, concluded arrangements on 4 March 1944 for co-or- 
dinated tests at American and British test stations, 58 The Advisory Com- 
mittee on Effectiveness of Gas Warfare in the Tropics was established to 
co-ordinate planning and evaluate test results and was provided with a 
full-time Project Co-ordination Staff to do the work. The United States 
not only made use of test facilities on San Jose Island in the Gulf of Panama, 
but also organized and sent the Far Eastern Technical Unit to Australia 
to assist the British- Australian test station there and to support the South- 
west Pacific Area (SWPA) in its efforts to prepare for gas warfare. 58 

The United States and Great Britain learned a great deal from these 
tropical experiments with gas. For instance, in 1944 it was discovered 
that clothing impregnated with British antivapor (AV) impregnite was 
toxic to the wearer when used in tropical areas and that British protective 
ointment was similarly irritating. 60 Co-ordinated action by the USCWC 
and ISCCW resulted in a requirement by Great Britain for twelve million 
tubes of the newly developed U.S. M5 protective ointment, and both British 
and Australian forces submitted requests for thousands of tons of American 
impregnite. 61 Since the M5 ointment was just getting into production, the 
USCWC set up priorities governing its issue, including initial issue to 
British troops in active Asiatic-Pacific tropical regions. 62 

57 See reference cited in 


Note 24(3) 

a8 (i) USCWC 101, 4 Mar 44, Effec tiveness of Gas in Tropics. (2) USCWC 98/1, 4 Mar 44, 

Outline of San Jose Pro j . 

59 (i) See below, [Chapter VJ for data on lease of San Jose Island by the Republic of Panama 
to U.S. Government. (2) Memo, Dir Proj Co-ord Staff (Dr. W. A. Noyes, Jr.) for Dugway 
Proving Ground, San Jose Proj, et al. t 8 Mar 44, sub: Organization and Functions of the Proj 
Co-ord Staff. CWS 334.8. (3) Ltr, CG USASOS through CG USAFFE (MacArthur) to C CWS, 
11 Aug 44, sub: Jt U.S.-Australian Cml Warfare Operational Tests. (4) For details on the 
organizati on, operation, and results o f these projects and test stations, see (a) Brophy, Miles, and 
Cochrane, ! Fro m Labor atory to Field] (b) Lincoln R. Thicsmeyer and John E. Burchard, Combat 
Scientists (Boston: Little, Brown and C ompany, 1947). 
"° See reference cited inf 

'(OUSCWC 87/5, 

Note 12(4) 


Jun 44, Rpt by Subcom on Protective Equipment. (2) USCWC 110, 
17 Apr 44, Note by Secy. (3) USCWC 124/5, J 6 Sep 44, Allocation of M5 Ointment. (4) Incl 
to Memo, Chmn USCWC for CG ASF, 22 Sep 44, sub: Co-ordinated Anglo-American Cml War- 
fare Proc and Supply Program. 

62 USCWC 124/2, 14 Sep 44, Allocation of Production of M5 Ointment. 


Preparing the Readiness Reports 

At various times after Pearl Harbor the War Department sought reports 
of the current status of the U.S. chemical warfare effort. 63 Several months 
before the USCWC came into existence the Chief, CWS, had requested 
that all theater commanders be directed to furnish their latest operational 
and logistical data on chemical warfare materiel and personnel, as well as 
such offensive and defensive plans for gas warfare as they might have 
prepared. 04 Although the War Department had approved the request, no 
action was taken to obtain the information until after the committee raised 
the issue in December 1942. At the first meeting General Porter submitted 
a draft letter to theater commanders which the committee approved. 05 The 
War Department dispatched the letter and directed co-ordination with 
the Navy. 66 

As the theaters reported their chemical warfare status and plans to 
the Chemical Warfare Service, it became more and more apparent that 
American forces overseas were unprepared for powerful retaliation should 
the enemy initiate gas warfare. The USCWC used these theater plans to 
prepare logistical studies of gas warfare readiness and included much of 
the information in the USCWC semiannual reports of readiness. 

Beginning in January 1943 the committee obtained information on the 
state of readiness of the Navy and the British. The USCWC then worked 
on the computation of logistical requirements for gas warfare, including 
the necessary reserves as well as the production capacity for key items. A 
full analysis was received from the British in April and the committee's 
first estimate appeared on 14 July. 67 Not until March 1944, however, did 
the USCWC publish its first full-scale report that covered the gas warfare 
situation as of 1 January 1944. 68 

Memo, ACofS OPD for CG SOS, 27 Apr 42, sub: Cml Warfare. OPD 441.5. (2) Memo, 
CofS for CG SOS, 4 Dec 42, sub: Status of Cml Warfare Preparation. (3) Memo, C Log Gp 
OPD for C CWS, 24 Dec 42, sub: Cml Warfare Preparedness of U.S. Army. Last two in OPD 
385 CWP, secIIA. 

"Ltr, C CWS to ACofS OPD, 7 Sep 42, sub: Operational and Logistical Data. CWS 

Min of Mtg of CCWC, 11 Dec 42. (2) The committee also agreed that joint and com- 
bined plans for chemical warfare should be requested for its use. 

M Ltr, TAG to CINCSWPA et al. t 19 Dec 42, sub: Theater Plans for Cml Warfare. AG 381 
(12-8-42) OB-S-E-M. 

"This report was sent to Great Britain and reproduced as CCW (43) 28, 25 Aug 43, U.S. 
Cml Warfare Preparedness. 

88 USCWC 91/2, 15 Mar 44, Rpt of Readiness for Gas Warfare as of 1 Jan 44. 



This report dealt with every phase of protection, offense, training, and 
intelligence. It included an estimate of enemy capabilities, mentioned the 
degree of protection provided American troops, gave the location of CWS 
units, and enumerated stockages of offensive and defensive chemical warfare 
items. Plans and principles for the employment of gas were discussed, and 
information was furnished on special projects. Thereafter the report ap- 
peared semiannually and was distributed to the Combined Chiefs of Staff 
and to all headquarters represented on the USCWC The report then served 
as a day-to-day handbook on chemical warfare. 69 

Establishing a Logistical Basis for Gas Warfare 

The Combined Chiefs of Staff in CCS 106/2 charged the USCWC with 
the task of establishing and maintaining initial stocks at levels which would 
enable gas warfare to be sustained pending expansion of production. 70 The 
USCWC performed much of this work in close conjunction with the Chem- 
ical Warfare Service and the War Department. An example of the many 
questions referred to the committee by the War Department was the im- 
portant one of protective equipment supply policy. An initial issue of 
individual protective equipment had been provided for all U.S. troops 
moving overseas. 71 In September 1943 the improvement in the strategic 
situation led the ASF to suggest that an immediate survey be made of over- 
seas reserve requirements for protective equipment with a view to reducing 
the amounts needed. 72 General Marshall referred the question to the 
USCWC for study and recommendation. 

Earlier War Department policy on reserve stocks of protective clothing 
had been to divide the various theaters into three classes. In the first class 
were placed theaters where gas warfare was most likely and where U.S. 
forces would probably be in ground contact with the enemy when it began. 
The second class embraced those theaters where gas warfare might develop 
but where there would probably be no ground contact with the enemy. The 
third class comprised those theaters where gas warfare was unlikely. The 
planners assumed that all troops moving overseas would have minimum 

* Beginning with the 1 July 1944 report, these semiannual reports of readiness covered all 
phases of chemical warfare including flame, smoke, and incendiaries. 
70 CCS 106/2, 14 Nov 42, with App. A. 

T1 Ltr, TAG to CGs All Overseas Depts et al, 10 Jun 42, sub: Cml Warfare Protective 
Clothing. AG 420 (23 May 42) (2), sec I. 

"Memo, Maj Gen LeRoy Lutes, ASF, for OPD, 29 Sep 43, sub: Theater Levels for Cml War- 
fare Materiel. OPD 385 CWP, sec IV. 


individual protective equipment and that these classes would apply only 
to theater reserves. 73 As planned by the Army Service Forces in 1943, those 
regions remote from ground and air attack, such as the Caribbean and 
South Atlantic, would have reserve stocks of protective equipment equal 
to 5 percent of the command strength. The ASF used the figure of 40 
percent to calculate reserve requirements for Hawaii and the ETO. Where 
American soldiers were engaged in ground warfare in 1943 — in North 
Africa, the Southwest Pacific Area, and elsewhere — a protective clothing 
reserve of 100 percent was authorized. 74 

The Subcommittee on Operations of the USCWC took what it con- 
sidered a more realistic and detailed approach to the problem. The sub- 
committee felt that any regrouping of the theaters for purposes of reserve 
supply levels should be based on the type of operations that were planned 
and upon the activities and locations of specific numbers of troops within 
the theaters. 75 Accordingly, the USCWC recommended that the planners 
divide the troop strength of each theater into one or more classes of supply 
instead of placing the entire theater in one class. The committee reasoned 
that in certain theaters, such as SWPA, there were troops far to the rear — 
as in Australia — where enemy gas attack was improbable, whereas other 
troops in forward areas such as New Guinea were daily exposed to the 
possibility of Japanese use of gas. The USCWC suggested reserve levels 
of 100 percent for troops in forward areas within a theater, 50 percent 
for men in second class areas further to the rear, and only 5 percent for 
troops in the most remote areas. These levels applied to all types of pro- 
tective equipment and supplies which would be used only if gas warfare 
started. 70 This policy the War Department directed the ASF to implement. 77 

73 USCWC 54, 30 Oct 43, Min of Mtg 30 Oct 43. 

14 Memo, Dir Reqmts Div ASF for ACofS OPD, 6 Mar 43, sub: Cml Warfare Impregnating 
Program. AG 420 (23 May 43) (2), sec I. In addition, one set of protective clothing, over and 
above the individual T/BA authorization, was issued to troops sailing for Europe and the South- 
west Pacific. In July 1943 the ETO became a first-class area because of the build-up there for the 
invasion of Europe. 

"(1) USCWC 57, 29 Nov 43, Min of Mtg Subcom on Opns 17 Nov 43. (2) USCWC 58, 
29 Nov 43, Min of Adjourned Mtg Subcom on Opns 22 Nov 43. 

7n Ltr, Chmn USCWC to CG ASF, 1 Dec 43, sub: Theater Levels for Cml Warfare Materials. 
OPD 385 CWP, sec IV. 

"(1) DF, Actg ACofS OPD to ACofS G-4 and CG ASF, 11 Dec 43, sub: Theater Levels for 
Cml Warfare Materials. OPD 385 CWP, sec IV. (2) Ltr } TAG to CINCSWPA et at., 24 Apr 44, 
sub: Cml Warfare Protective Clothing, Accessories, and Equipment. AG 420 (28 Mar 44 ) 
OB-S-D-SPOPP— M. This established final protective equipment requirements. (3) The USCWC 
also adopted a program by which the varying percentages of troops in different theaters would 
get two-layer protective clothing and one-and-one-half-Iayer protective clothing. These distinctions 
enabled the United States to save much manpower and materiel. 



Another question which the War Department referred to the committee 
dealt with requirements for nonpersistent gases. The CWS had proposed 
the expansion of production facilities to create stockpiles of nonpersistent 
gas munitions which the AAF desired in 1944. 78 The USCWC suggested 
instead that sufficient facilities be created to sustain operational gas warfare. 
The desired stockpiles could be manufactured by these plants and the 
plants then placed in standby condition pending the outbreak of gas warfare. 
Such a step would, in effect, provide a broad production base that would 
make possible a considerable expansion in the event of gas warfare. 79 
Although the War Department adopted this idea in principle, it authorized 
only one half of the production increase proposed by the USCWC. 80 

An important function of the USCWC was the determination of the 
amount of preparation that should be made for offensive gas warfare. The 
knotty question confronting the USCWC was the rate of military effort 
upon which levels of munitions supply in the theaters should be based. 
The Combined Chiefs of Staff had been careful to specify that any measures 
adopted in preparation for gas warfare should be "limited to those com- 
patible with a balanced over-all munitions program/' 81 

The USCWC undertook to make statistical studies of theater stocks 
of chemical munitions beginning in December 1943. From these studies 
the committee evolved certain fundamental principles upon which future 
committee recommendations were based. One principle was that in the 
event the Axis Powers used gas U.S. retaliation should be immediate and 
intensive, with airplanes flying 150 percent of their normal number of 
missions during the first fifteen days of gas warfare. After this initial effort, 
in which bomb loads would consist of 75-percent gas munitions and 25- 
percent high explosives, the normal number of aircraft missions would 
be flown with 50 percent of the bomb load consisting of gas. 82 Additional 
principles were that the European and Mediterranean Theaters of Opera- 
tions, where the United Nations were on the strategic offensive, should have 

78 Memo, CG ASF for Chmn USCWC, 19 Jan 44, sub: Reqmts of Agents, Cml, CG, AC, and 
CC. SPRMP 470.6 (13 Jan 44). See also USCWC 88, 24 Jan 44, Min of Mtg Subcom on Opns 
22 Jan 44. 

™ USCWC 86/2, 5 Feb 44, Rpt of Com. 

w USCWC 86/3, 24 Apr 44, Reqmts of Agents, CG, AC, and CC. 
" CCS 106/2, 14 Nov 42, Annex A. 

82 The 50-percent figure was gradually reduced in planning during 1944 and 1945 to 25 percent. 


special consideration and that a reserve of gas bombs should be created in 
the continental United States. 83 

In November 1943 and again in July 1944 the Army Air Forces raised 
the question of the adequacy of current theater stocks of chemical munitions. 
AAF experience in the European theater in 1944 revealed that theater gas- 
bomb stocks amounted to about 17 percent of one month's expenditure of 
the high explosive and incendiary bombs. As such a stock of gas bombs 
was believed to be inadequate, the AAF requested that the theater levels 
be reconsidered. 84 The commanding general of the Army Air Forces, Gen- 
eral Henry H. Arnold, took up the question of theater gas stocks with 
his fellow members of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. He suggested that 
a study be made of American ability to retaliate and called attention to 
deficiencies in theater stocks of air chemical munitions. 85 

Instead of assigning the study to the USCWC, the Joint Chiefs handed 
it over to the Joint Staff Planners (JPS), who worked in close collaboration 
with the Joint Logistics Committee (JLC). The JPS and JLC designated 
members of a joint ad hoc subcommittee on which several members of the 
USCWC were called upon to serve, and the USCWC was asked to co- 
ordinate with the Joint Logistics Plans Committee on the study. 86 As pre- 
pared by this subcommittee, the study called for the use of gas in 
overwhelming quantities as a decisive weapon against the Japanese. But 
the study also pointed out certain deficiencies in the nonpersistent gas 
program and noted the need for tripling production facilities if bombing 
were continued over a long period. The subcommittee reduced the amount 

fi3 (i)USCWC 121/7, 28 Aug 44, Min of Mtg 24 Aug 44. (2) See USCWC 127, 9 Dec 44, 
Capabilities of Implementing a Decision To Initiate Retaliatory Cml Warfare Against the 
Japanese. (3) During this period the committee persuaded the War Department to authorize the 
rilling of three hundred thousand additional persistent gas bombs for storage in the United States. 
See Memo, Chmn USCWC for ACofS OPD, 14 Jun 44, sub: Co-ordinated Anglo-American Cml 
Warfare Proc and Supply Program (Cml Gas Bomb Levels), reproduced as USCWC 69/3, 15 
Jun 44 ; and Memo, CG ASF for Chmn USCWC, 2 Aug 44, same sub. 

B4 (i) Memo, CG AAF for ACofS OPD, 1 Nov 43, sub: Theater Plans for Cml Warfare (Cml 
Gas Bomb Levels) (2) Memo, CG AAF for CofS (Attn: OPD), 12 Jul 44, sub: Theater Plans 
for Cml Warfare. (3) DF, OPD to CG ASF, 13 Jul 44, same sub. All in OPD 385 CWP, sec IV. 
(4) Initially the United States and Great Britain had agreed on a gas-bomb program at 25 percent 
of the total bomb program. The British later changed their basis to so many missions per month. 
See Memo for File, Col John C. MacArthur, 3 Apr 43, sub: General Porter's Mtg With Air Staff, 
Air Ministry, 2 Apr 43. CWS 314.7 USCWC File. 

85 JCS 825/1, 30 June 44, Implications of Retaliatory Cml Warfare Against the Japanese. 

66 Memo, Chmn USCWC for JLPC, 6 Jul 44, sub: Co-ordinated Anglo-American Cml Warfare 
Proc and Supply. Reproduced as USCWC 118/4, 



of gas to be used in normal bombing missions from 50 to 30 percent of 
the total bomb load. 87 

Notwithstanding the subcommittee's recommendations to triple produc- 
tion facilities, the JLC and JPS recommended that there be no expansion 
of currently authorized production facilities except for certain loading 
plants. For planning purposes the committees proposed 1 January 1945 as 
a target date for readiness for retaliatory gas warfare. 88 After one more 
revision the Joint Chiefs approved the final version as JCS 825/4 on 16 
October 1944. This study assumed that gas would be used only against 
Japan proper, the Ryukyus, and the Bonins and set a normal gas mission 
rate at 25 percent of the total tonnage. 89 Because of the time factor, the 
readiness date was set for 1 April 1945. In the study the planners indi- 
cated that the proposed mission rate would require the use of only about 
half the existing persistent gas capacity and two thirds of the nonpersistent 
capacity of the United States. 90 

In December 1944 the USCWC made recommendations to the General 
Staff on implementing these proposals. Among others, the committee sug- 
gested that theater commanders in the Pacific be notified of the proposed 
rate of air effort with gas, the levels of supply, and the date of readiness. 
The USCWC also recommended that gas bombs amounting to sixty days' 
supply be moved into continental U.S. reserve. 91 Three main problems 
confronted planners in their efforts to achieve gas warfare readiness in 
the Pacific. These were: (1) the movement of existing stocks to the Pacific; 
(2) the provision of storage facilities; and (3) the resumption of pro- 
duction, especially of empty bomb cases, without undue interference with 
the high explosive and incendiary bomb programs which were proving so 
successful in defeating the Axis. 92 

RT (i) Of the gas bombs used, two thirds would be persistent and one third would be non- 
persistent gases. See also JLC 144/3, 21 Sep 44, Capabilities of Implementing a Decision To 
Initiate Retaliatory Cml Warfare Against the Japanese. (2) For some USCWC comments, see 
USCWC 119/1, to Jul 44, Min of Mtg 6 Jul 44. 

88 JCS 825/2, 18 Aug 44, Capabilities of Implementing a Decision To Initiate Retaliatory Cml 
Warfare Against the Japanese. For USCWC work in connection with this study, particularly the 
logistical factors, see Memo, Chmn USCWC for Secy JLC, 25 Aug 44, same sub, submitted as 
USCWC 121/5; and USCWC 121/6, 26 Aug 44- 

w The area restriction was due to the fact that friendly populations occupied the rest of 
Japanese-held areas. 

w (i) JCS 825/4, 7 Oct 44, Capabilities of Implementing a Decision To Initiate Retaliatory 
Cml Warfare Against the Japanese. (2) DF, OPD to CG ASF, 17 Oct 44, sub: Capabilities of 
Impleme nting a Decision . . . (JCS 825/4). OPD 385 TS ( 16 Oct 44). 

91 ( 1) |See~N ote 83 above. (2) USCWC 127/2, 15 Dec 44, Capabilities of Implementing a 
Decision To Initiate Retaliatory Cml Warfare Against the Japanese. 

BZ USCWC 145/3, 4 Aug 45, Implementation of JCS 825 Series. 


In March 1945 General of the Army George C. Marshall noted that 
some theater commanders had misinterpreted the provisions of JCS 825/4 
as a directive for their readiness for gas warfare as of the planning date, 
including the forward area stockage of chemical munitions. The Chief 
of Staff expressed concern and suggested that a study be made, for it 
seemed that forward area stockage might be impracticable in view of the 
tight shipping situation. 93 The Joint Staff Planners studied the question and 
came up with their recommendations shortly after the defeat of Germany. 
They estimated that full readiness for swift and continuing retaliation 
against Japan would require the shipment of 113,500 tons of gas munitions 
from Europe and the United States, a possible reduction in the manufacture 
of incendiary bomb cases, the conversion of certain CWS and Ordnance 
units to handle gas munitions, and the provision of port capacity, labor, 
and storage facilities in forward areas of the Pacific. Because the JPS (and 
the Joint Intelligence Committee) considered the possibility that Japan would 
resort to gas as remote, they recommended that the United States produce 
and stockpile sufficient munitions to furnish the minimum amount needed 
for retaliatory gas warfare as of 1 November 1945, and that theater com- 
manders be allowed to move these minimum levels of supply as far forward 
as shipping and other priorities would permit. 94 

As finally revised, the JPS-JLC report to the Joint Chiefs noted shortages 
of gas munitions in the Pacific. Although President Roosevelt's promise of 
swift retaliation required the presence of gas munitions in forward areas, 
the two committees could not agree on the advisability of forward area 
shipments and separated the question from that of production. They speci- 
fied a minimum forward area stockage level in the Pacific of seventy-five 
days' supply, with ninety days' required in the China and India-Burma 
theaters. The planners also assumed that to end the war successfully with 
gas would require no more than three months' strategic bombing and 
six months of tactical bombing. They gave no directions which would 
require shipments to build up theater stocks nor was anything said about 
resuming production of toxic agents and munitions. 95 The JCS gave informal 
approval to the recommendations on 19 June 1945 and did not issue any 

M JCS 825/5, 5 Mar 45, Theater Plans for Cml Warfare. 

94 JPS 484/5, 28 May 45, Theater Plans for Cml Warfare. The JPS felt that in view of the 
extremely tight shipping situation likely to last until after Operation Olympic (the invasion of 
the island of Kyushu) the forward shipment of gas munitions should be avoided unless there was 
a likelihood gas would be used. 

96 JCS 825/6, 13 Jun 45* Theater Plans for Cml Warfare. 



directives either authorizing theater commanders to raise stocks in forward 
areas or approving additional production. 96 

The Question of Initiating Gas Warfare 

After the defeat of Germany, Army authorities in Washington sug- 
gested a re-examination of the existing American policy that called for 
the use of gas in retaliation only. 97 Several factors favored the use of gas 
against the Japanese. Meteorological conditions in Japan favored gas. The 
United States had predominant responsibility for the war in this area 
and was more convinced of the decisive value of gas than were the British. 
Finally, and probably most important, the high casualty rate suffered on 
Iwo Jima and on Okinawa so alarmed the War Department that it gave 
great emphasis to the study of every means which would shorten the war 
and save American lives. General Joseph W. Stilwell, then the commanding 
general of Army Ground Forces, suggested to the Chief of Staff the use 
of mobile weapons such as 4.2-inch chemical mortars, pack artillery, recoil- 
less rifles, rockets, and self-propelled artillery, and the increased use of 
mechanized flame throwers and tank dozers. He also recommended that 
consideration be given to the use of gas in the planned invasion of Japan. 98 
The director of the New Developments Division of the War Department 
General Staff, Brig. Gen. William A. Borden, felt that the best means 
of meeting the existing and anticipated conditions in the war against Japan 
would be by increasing effective mobile fire power including flame throwers. 
He further stated: "Efficient and proper employment of gas would be of 
great assistance." 99 

Decision of Jt CsofS on JCS 825/6, Jun 45. In JCS 825/6. (2) Memo, Dir Reqmts & 
Stock ContI Div ASF for Dir Plan Div, 17 Jul 45, sub: Comments on JCS 825/6. CWS 314.7 
USCWC File. 

97 (i) The principal source for this section is OPD 385 TS, sec I-1945. (2) For the earlier 
viewpoint, see DF, CofS to C CWS, 3 Jan 44, sub: U.S. Policy Regarding Initiation of Gas 
Warfare. OPD 385 (27 Dec 43). This communication noted that use of gas against the Japanese 
at that time (1944) would give Germany an excuse to use gas in retaliation and that such em- 
ployment of gas would endanger the planned invasion of the Continent as well as the civil 
population of the United Kingdom. In an interview after his capture, Hermann Goering stated 
that if the United States had resorted to chemical warfare, the Germans would have launched gas 
attacks on England. Intel Div Rpt 3897, CWS ETOUSA, 12 Jun 45, sub: Interrogation of Goering 
on Cml Warfare. CWS 319.1 ETO. 

* s Memo, CG AGF for CofS. Copy in CmlHO is Tab A to Memo, Dir NDD for CofS, 12 
May 45, sub: Equipment for Use Against Japan. CWS 314.7 Cave Warfare File. 

99 Memo, Dir NDD for CofS, 12 May 45, sub: Equipment for Use Against Japan. CWS 314.7 
Cave Warfare File. 


A week after V-E Day, General Borden called a meeting of representa- 
tives of G-2, G-4, OPD, ASF, Ordnance, Engineers, and the CWS. The 
representatives discussed General Stilwell's recommendations and the pos- 
sible solutions to two major problems: (i) What equipment would be 
best for overcoming the Japanese in their caves, pillboxes, and bunkers? 
and (2) How should this equipment be best employed? 100 The CWS set 
up a project under the Assistant Chief, CWS, for Field Operations to super- 
vise and co-ordinate CWS activities in connection with the over-all Army 
project known as Sphinx. 101 As part of this program, the USCWC and the 
Chemical Warfare Service made extensive studies of the logistical require- 
ments for gas warfare. 102 

Before June 1945 gas warfare studies had referred only to the question 
of retaliatory gas warfare. An OPD study of 4 June took up the question 
of the United States initiating gas warfare. While the study concluded 
that gas would be helpful, it pointed out that the United States would 
have to consider the effect on world opinion of using gas, for President 
Roosevelt had publicly condemned gas warfare. Furthermore, the study 
did not rate gas as the decisive weapon envisaged by the USCWC and the 
CWS. 103 

Nonetheless, on 14 June General Marshall sent to Admiral Ernest J. 
King another OPD study which recommended that the JCS immediately 
order an increased production of gas and that the principle of initiating 
gas warfare be informally discussed with President Harry S. Truman. If 
Truman should agree to a reversal of Roosevelt's policy on the use of gas, 
OPD suggested that Truman take up the question of altering current agree- 
ments with other United Nations members at the forthcoming Potsdam 
Conference. General Marshall added, that if Admiral King agreed with 

100 Min of Mtg with Gen Borden 14 May 45, dtd 15 May 45 f sub: Equipment for Use Against 
Japan CWS 314.7 Cave Warfare File. 

101 Memo, C CWS for Dir NDD, 19 May 45, sub: Existing and Proposed Cml Weapons for 
Reduction of Japanese Fortifications. CWS 314.7 Cave Warfare File. 

102 (i) USCWC 127 series. (2) The final CWS report on Sphinx reached the conclusion that 
gas was the most promising weapon for reducing cave defenses and that the flame thrower was 
the most effective nongas weapon. See Memo, C CWS for Dir NDD, 9 Jul 45, sub: Final 
Summary Rpt on Sphinx Proj. CWS 314.7 Sphinx File. 

103 (i) Memo, Col Max S. Johnson, S&P Gp OPD, for Brig Gen George A. Lincoln, 4 Jun 45. 
(2) Memo, Gen Lincoln for ACofS OPD (Lt Gen John E. Hull), 9 Jun 45. Both in ABC 475 
92 (25 Feb 44), sec 1— C. (3) OPD did not consult the CWS or the AAF in the preparation of 
this study, although these were the principal operating agencies concerned with the question. The 
USCWC was not consulted although supposedly an advisory body on gas warfare policy under 
CCS 106/2. 



the proposed action, "I believe we should discuss the subject informally 
with General Arnold and Admiral Leahy/' 104 

A copy of the OPD study reached Admiral William D. Leahy, who 
promptly expressed his opposition to the initiation of gas warfare. In writing 
to General Marshall, Admiral Leahy stated his belief that President Roose- 
velt's categorical statement to the press of 8 June 43 that 'we shall under 
no circumstances resort to the use of such weapons [poisonous or noxious 
gases] unless they are first used by our enemies" had settled the question, 105 
Nevertheless, Leahy added that he had . . no objection to a discussion 
with the President, by anyone who believes in gas warfare, of the possibility 
of a reversal of President Roosevelt's announced policy (8 June 1943)/' 
He went on to express his astonishment that no adequate provision had 
yet been made for retaliation with gas in the Pacific. 106 

In all probability Admiral Leahy's response helped to discourage JCS 
consideration of the Army's proposal for initiating gas warfare. When the 
service chiefs went off to the Potsdam Conference in July they presumably 
also had in mind the thought of using a newer and more devastating 
weapon, even then being readied for test in the hot desert of New Mexico. 
After the first atomic bomb fell on Hiroshima the Pacific war rapidly 
came to a dramatic close. 


While the United States Chemical Warfare Committee did not reach 
as high a position in the co-ordination of the combined Anglo-American 
gas warfare effort as perhaps many of its members desired, it nonetheless 
achieved a great deal, and probably all that was expected of it. After 
the usual initial controversies over mission, powers, and organization the 
USCWC settled down and became almost a model of co-operative effort, 
both with the U.S. services and with the British Inter-Service Committee 

104 (i) Memo, Marshall for King, 14 Jun 45, no sub. (2) Memo for Red, Col James K. Wool- 
nough, S&P Gp OPD, 14 Jun 45, sub: U.S. Cml Warfare Policy. Both in OPD 385 TS, sec 

105 Press Release, June 8, 1943. Annex to JCS 825, 18 Apr 44, Retaliatory Measures of War- 
fare Against Japan. 

108 Memo, Leahy for Marshall, 20 Jun 45. OPD 385 TS, sec I-1945. Leahy repeated his opposi- 
tion to chemical warfare in his autobiography / Was There (New York: Whittlesey House, 
1950), p. 440. Marshall explained that the lack of logistical preparation was due to the approach 
of U.S. forces within bombing range of the Japanese islands, as well as to the increased bomb 
loads carried by the B-29's, before which most gas warfare would have been of a tactical rather 
than strategic nature. See Memo, Marshall for Leahy (probably 21 Jun 45). OPD 385 TS, sec 


on Chemical Warfare. Although the committee lacked executive powers, 
the presence of representatives of interested organizations paved the way 
for the smooth passage of many USCWC recommendations through com- 
mand channels. 

Of all the committee's undertakings the co-ordination of supply seems 
to have been the most important and most successful. During World War II 
the most critical factor affecting both the British and American military 
effort was ship tonnage. Both the United States and Great Britain were 
committed to campaigns at the end of supply lines stretching across thou- 
sands of miles of ocean. While the decisive battle was to be fought only 
a scant few miles from England, much of the raw materials for the British 
war effort and all the finished American materiel had to be brought across 
the sea and in spite of intense German submarine activity. Every ton saved 
and every instance of crosshauling eliminated brought the day of ultimate 
victory that much closer. In the case of gas warfare materiel, an "insurance'* 
item, it was even more important that its supply did not interfere more 
than absolutely necessary with that of items in every day use. 

Two factors restricted the co-ordination of supply: one was the fact 
that there was a limit to the amount of materiel that Great Britain could 
provide for American troops in Europe and the Mediterranean; the other 
was the lack of standardization and interchangeability of items of British 
and American materiel. The USCWC manfully undertook to effect such 
standardization and interchangeability, but the lesson learned was that 
once war has started it is too late for any significant success in these fields. 
A number of items, especially aircraft munitions, were made interchange- 
able. In the field of protective equipment and clothing, interchangeability 
was obtained by training because so many of the items had already been 
standardized by each nation and issued to the troops in the field. But only 
over a considerable number of peacetime years did it appear possible to 
achieve any notable degree of standardization of the military items of two 
or more countries. 

One of the steps which the USCWC and the British ISCCW took 
toward interchangeability and standardization was the interchange of infor- 
mation on the research and development programs of both nations and 
with Canada. Not only did this eliminate some duplication of effort, but 
it enabled the scientists to design items so that they could be used equally 
well by troops of any of these nations. The process of research and devel- 
opment is such a slow one, however, that significant results are hardly 
obtainable in the space of three or four years. 



On a broader scale the USCWC prepared information for the use of 
U.S. and British agencies in the form of reports of readiness for gas warfare. 
These reports provided periodic information on intelligence, production, 
training, research, supply, and many other items of interest. 

The USCWC participated in the planning for a logistical basis for 
chemical warfare, but in this instance the higher planning bodies in the 
Joint Chiefs of Staff committee system took over so much of the work that 
the role of the USCWC was pretty much limited to that of providing 
statistical calculations and recommendations for preparedness. 

When the question of initiating gas warfare came under discussion in 
mid-1945 it is not too surprising that the committee, primarily established 
for procurement and supply co-ordination rather than for advice on policy, 
was not consulted. It is surprising that neither the Army Air Forces, as 
the principal arm for using gas, nor the Chemical Warfare Service, with 
the technical know-how was consulted. The reason for this is not clear, 
but it was possibly due to a desire to keep the circle of people debating 
the issue as small as possible, so that the pressure of public opinion for 
or against the use of gas might not be stirred by some incautious hint that 
the United States was considering its employment. 

The operation of the committee does not appear to have differed ma- 
terially from that of the various JCS committees. Toward the end of the 
war the lack of a secretariat and the strain on the facilities of the Office 
of the Chief of Chemical Warfare Service impelled the USCWC to seek 
additional administrative assistance. 

Bonds between the USCWC and the Chemical Warfare Service were 
very close. On almost all subcommittees there was a plurality of CWS 
officers. The chairman and his principal assistant were the Chief, CWS, 
and his Assistant Chief for Field Operations. The various secretaries were 
CWS officers, and the Office of the Chief, CWS, provided the clerical 
assistance and most of the statistical and technical information on chemical 
warfare. It would appear that, although other organizations and nations 
had representation on the USCWC, the Chemical Warfare Service exerted 
the greatest amount of influence on decisions arrived at by the committee. 


The Chief s Office 
During World War II 

General Porter remained Chief of the Chemical Warfare Service 
throughout the war and into the period of demobilization, retiring from 
active duty on 13 November 1945. His personality had a profound influence 
on the development of the CWS mission, and in a very definite sense the 
success of that mission was the measure of General Porter's accomplishment. 

Porter was graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1909 and com- 
missioned in the Coast Artillery Corps the following year. In 1921 he 
transferred as major to the Chemical Warfare Service, where he served 
until his retirement from the Army. Although he lacked experience as 
a chemical officer in World War I, his peacetime assignments gave him 
an excellent background for his duties as Chief. After his graduation with 
distinction from the Command and General Staff School in 1927, he at- 
tended both the Army Industrial College and the Army War College. 

Porter was an affable and diplomatic officer who lived on easy terms 
with most of his subordinates. He had the capacity for quickly sizing up 
a complicated problem and reaching a satisfactory solution with apparently 
little effort. He found time to listen to persons who wanted to catch 
his ear and he encouraged subordinates who were at considerable distances 
from headquarters to write him informal letters. A kindly reception of an 
earnest presentation of an idea, however, did not necessarily mean that 
Porter was convinced of its worth, although the person offering it might 
have thought so at the time. One of Porter's chief assets was his ability 
to conciliate members of his staff whenever they clashed over matters of 
policy or for other reasons. If, as sometimes happened, the conciliatory 
approach failed, he did not hesitate to take more drastic action. Another 
asset was his unusual ability to encourage his subordinates to put forth 
their best efforts. By not setting up impossible standards of performance, 
and by offering criticism in a kindly and courteous manner, he spurred on 



most of his staff to put forth their best efforts. Occasionally personal pre- 
dilections led Porter to overlook the shortcomings of some of his associates, 
a trait not unrelated to his congeniality and his desire to accommodate. But 
instances of either harshness or favoritism were rare, and generally speak- 
ing, Porter's personality inspired genuine respect and loyalty throughout 
the service. 1 

Porter was able to attract to the CWS a number of eminent civilians 
who, as emergency officers, naturally contributed to the success of his 
administration, both in Washington and in the field installations. 2 He 
either knew or quickly came to know the senior Reserve and emergency 
officers on whom he had to rely so largely during the war. His intimate 
acquaintance with the small group of Regular Army CWS officers aided 
him in making assignments to key positions. 

During the prewar years and on into the first few months of the war 
the Chief, CWS, was under the direct jurisdiction of the Chief of Staff. 
There was constant consultation between the General Staff and the CWS 
staff over matters of policy. In March 1942, under a major War Department 
reorganization, another echelon of command was placed between the supply 
arms and services and the General Staff. 3 That echelon, commanded by 
General Somervell, was t he Services of Supply, or as it was later called, 
the Army Service Forces. {Chart 4) From that time until after the close 

of the war, policy matters were usually formulated after consultation 
between ASF staff officers and their opposite numbers in the CWS. At 
times War Department General and Special Staff officers had direct contact 
with CWS personnel, as in the case of the United States Chemical Warfare 
Committee, but such contact was the exception rather than the rule. 4 

General Porter himself had direct and intimate contact on matters of 
policy affecting chemical warfare with the Combined and Joint Chiefs 

1 This estimate is based on the author's own observations and on interviews with numerous 
officers and key civilians in the CWS during and after World War II. 

3 When war was declared the Washington headquarters was at 23d and C Streets. N. W., with 
additional space in the Munitions Building. In 1942 a move was made from 23d and C Streets to 
building Tempo F across the street. In January 1943 more adequate quarters were secured in AAF 
Annex 1 at Gravelly Point, Virginia, and the entire office was moved there. 

3 For details on this reorganization see: (1) Ray S. Cline, Washington Command Post: The 
Operations Division, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington: 1951), 
pp. 70—74, 90-93. (2) Frederick S. Haydon, "War Department Reorganization, August 1941- 
March 1942," Military Affairs, XVI (1952), 12-29, 97 _II 4- (3) John D. Millett, The Organiza- 
tion and Role of the Army Service Forces, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II 
(Washington: 1954), Ch. II. 

4 Among War Department elements with which CWS had direct and formal contact were the 
Operations Division and the War Department Manpower Board. 

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of Staff, with the General and Special Staffs, and with the commanding 
generals of the AAF and AGF. Officially he had to channel his communica- 
tions through ASF headquarters. Seldom did this cause Porter any undue 
concern, for he had great respect for General Somerveirs leadership in 
the supply field. Moreover, he realized the good work the ASF was doing 
on such matters as production controls, manpower utilization, and uni- 
formity of administrative procedures. He felt that the ASF had a proper 
role in co-ordinating and directing the efforts of the chiefs of technical 
services, and he supported every move in that direction. 5 On the other hand, 
General Porter, like the chiefs of other technical services, opposed every 
effort by the Commanding General, ASF, or his staff to undercut the 
prerogatives of those statutory branches of the War Department. 6 

Porter did much of his business through personal contacts, characterized 
by absence of formality. He held frequent staff conferences with his prin- 
cipal assistants, a procedure which enabled him to keep informed of progress 
being made in his various fields of responsibility and to initiate action 
in line with ASF policies. These policies Porter became acquainted with 
at General Somervell's monthly staff conferences of technical services chiefs, 
as well as through communications from ASF headquarters. Unless absent 
from Washington, Porter always attended the ASF monthly staff con- 
ferences, accompanied by either Col. Harry A. Kuhn or Lt. Col. Philip J. 
Fitzgerald of his staff. After the OC CWS moved to Gravelly Point in 
January 1943, the Chief had a "situation room" set up, where charts and 
panels portraying CWS progress or lack of progress were displayed and 
discussed with members of his staff. In the situation room the shortcomings 
and deficiencies of the CWS were reviewed and analyzed. Through frequent 
visits to CWS field installations and overseas theaters, Porter was also 
enabled to gauge the strength and weaknesses of his service. 

Early Wartime Organization 

General Somervell felt that the most pressing problems facing the ASF 
before mid-1943 were those of organization and mobilization. 7 Two days 

& Until April 1942 the term "supply arms and services" was used, when the ASF changed the 
designation to "supply services" (SOS GO 4, 9 Apr 42). In May 1943 the designation was again 
changed, this time to "technical services," and this term applied during and after the war. 

In 1943 Somervell presented a plan to the War Department which would have eliminated 
the technical services. Millett, Army Service Forces. Chapter XXIV. 

1 ASF Conf of CGs, Serv Comds, 22-24 Jul 43* P- 2 - 



after the ASF came into being Somervell issued an initial directive for 
the new organization which provided for the inclusion of a Control Di- 
vision in his headquarters. 8 The mission of this division was to keep the 
commanding general, his staff, and his key assistants constantly advised 
on the status of the Army supply systems and other aspects of his work. 
The Control Division was to accomplish its mission through such measures 
as inspection aimed at determining the causes of delays and deficiencies, 
through analysis and evaluation of recurring reports and statistics, and 
through investigations of organizational procedures. On 27 March 1942, 
Somervell directed that units similar in character to the Control Division 
in his office be activated in all administrative elements under his command 
and that they be manned by competent personnel. He gave as the reason for 
establishing such units the fact that officers responsible for operations were 
usually so occupied with current assignments that they did not have the 
opportunity to survey the structure and procedures of their organizations 
as a whole. Thus, he went on to say, deficiencies were not detected and 
corrective action initiated at an early date. 9 The new control divisions in 
the technical services were to play a major role in all matters of an 
organizational and administrative nature. 

In compliance with the directive of the Commanding General, ASF, 
a Control Division was established in the OC CWS on 11 April 1942. 10 
Shortly thereafter the Chief, CWS, directed that the new division investigate 
and report on "the adequacy and correctness" of the organization of the 
CWS, with special reference to the Office of the Chief. 11 The CWS made 
every effort to carry out General Somervell's directive to secure competent 
individuals in staffing the Control Division. Col. Lowell A. Elliott became 
first chief of the division. Upon his departure for Europe in May 1942, 
Colonel Kuhn, commanding officer of the New York Chemical Warfare 
Procurement District, was made chief and served in this capacity for the 
duration of the war. Colonel Kuhn, who was to remain one of General 
Porter's closest advisers throughout the war, had been a CWS officer since 
World War I and had a broad background in the technical, training, and 
procurement activities of the service. To assist Kuhn, Porter brought in 
Reserve and emergency officers with outstanding experience in the business 

g A copy of this directive is in Organizational Problems of the Army Service Forces, 1942- 
1945, I, 7-14, a five-volume manuscript compiled by the Historical Branch, ASF. In OCMH. 
lJ Memo, Gen Somervell for All Staff Divs et al., 27 Mar 42, sub: Contl. 00 020/29. 
10 OCCWS OfTO 17, 11 Apr 42. 

11 Leo P. Brophy, Organizational Development, Pt. 1 of Administration and Personnel Man- 
agement, Vol. II of History of the Chemical Warfare Service (1 Jul 40-15 Aug 45), p. 25. 



world, as well as civilian employees with considerable training in business 
administration. It was particularly important that the Control Division 
engage only individuals of mature judgment, because of the nature of 
its functions. It was unfortunate that the name "Control" was applied 
to the division, for this designation did not stimulate ready acceptance 
by other elements of the Chemical Warfare Service on whose adequacy 
the Control Division had to report and with whom it had to work. In spite 
of its name, the Control Division was purely a staff and not a command 
unit, and its effectiveness depended chiefly on soundness of objectives and 
methods as well as on maintaining amicable relationships with the elements 
of the CWS and higher echelons. The division's effectiveness, as well as 
its methods of operation, developed gradually as the war went on. 

The directive which provided for the organization of the OC CWS 
at the outbreak of the war had outlined an over-all o rganizational stru cture 

but left details to be worked out as time went on. 12 \(See Chart 3.) Early 
in 1942 attempts were made to define more exactly the respective roles of 
the three services, Field, Technical, and Industrial, with regard to certain 
phases of the CWS mission. 13 After the activation of the Control Division 
in the Chief's office in April 1942, the OC CWS put forth more pronounced 
efforts to define the functions of each of its administrative elements and 
to fit each element into its proper niche in the over-all organization. 14 Some- 
times the functions had been but recently delegated to the CWS, as in 
the case of the requirement for accumulating and correlating data on 
biological warfare, which was assigned orally in late 1941, and the price 
adjustment function, delegated in mid-1942. The administration of activities 
connected with biological warfare was placed in a Biological Division in 
the Technical Service, where it remained until mid-1943. Supervision of 
price adjustment activities was lodged with the Legal Division, because 
of the close association between price adjustment and legal functions such 
as drawing up and terminating contracts. 

Some of the functions under consideration had been assigned originally 
to a separate administrative unit, but experience had indicated that such 
assignment was no longer practicable. This was the situation, for example, 
with the Incendiary Branch which had been set up when the incendiary 
program was turned over to the CWS in 1941. This branch co-ordinated all 

12 OC CWS OffO 12, 15 Jul 41. 


3 (i) OC CWS Off O 6, 14 Feb 42, and OC CWS Off O n, 4 Mar 42. (2) See Chart 3 
organizational features of the Field, Technical, and Industrial Services. 

14 Memo, Ind Div OC CWS to Contl Br OC CWS, 30 Oct 42, sub: Overlapping and Duplica- 
tion of Functions. CWS 310. 



matters pertaining to incendiaries including their design and development, 
procurement, storage, and issue. It maintained contact with the Technical 
Service of the Chief's office on design and development, with the Industrial 
Service on the construction, procurement, and inspection facilities to manu- 
facture the bomb, and with the Field Service on matters pertaining to the 
storage and issue of incendiaries to troops in the field. By June 1942 the 
incendiary program had been carried to the point where the functions 
associated with it could be assumed by the Technical, Industrial, and Field 
Services, and the branch was therefore eliminated. 15 

In still another instance, investigation revealed that closely allied or 
identical functions were being performed by various units of the OC CWS. 
The administration of legal activities was a case in point. Following the 
15 July 1941 reorganization, three separate units of the Office of the Chief 
performed legal functions, namely, the Purchase and Contracts Division of 
the Industrial Service, the Patent Division of the Technical Service, and 
the Legal Division of the Executive Office. By early 1942, the OC CWS 
reached the conclusion that this setup was not making for the greatest 
efficiency. Furthermore, in May the ASF sent a directive urging the co- 
ordination of legal activities. The chief of the Control Division brought 
the matter to the attention of General Porter, pointing out that Control 
Division studies had demonstrated that the dispersion of legal functions 
among three administrative units was cumbersome and expensive. On 24 
June 1942, therefore, all functions of a legal nature were placed under 
the jurisdiction of the Legal Division, OC CWS. 16 

Organizational developments, especially in the early period of the war, 
were affected to some extent by the military personnel situation. A number 
of Reserve officers in grades from first lieutenant to lieutenant colonel 
were being called to active duty, and in placing these officers the Army 
had to give consideration to rank as well as ability. The result was that 
it was often necessary to create organizational units to accommodate the 
rank of the officers. Organizational changes for this reason were continu- 
ously taking place in the early years of the war, particularly in the lower 
echelons. 17 

15 OC CWS OfTO 28, 2 Jun 42. 

16 (i) IOM, Contl Div OC CWS for C CWS, 30 May 42, sub: Co-ordination of Legal Work. 
CWS 101/12-13. (2) OC CWS Off O 32, 24 Jun 42. 

17 Reference will be made here to only the most significant over-all organizational develop- 
ments in World War II. For details on minor organizational changes see Leo P. Brophy, History 
of the Chemical Warfare Service in World War II, Administration and Personnel Management. 



Decentralization of Operations 

A policy which had a marked effect on CWS organizational develop- 
ments, both in the Chief's office and in the installations, was the ASF 
encouragement of decentralization of operations. The theory behind this 
policy was given expression by the chief of the Statistical Control Service 
in General Somervell's office; in discussing the functions of the recently 
activated control units, he said that one of the prime purposes of control 
was "to effect maximum decentralization of operation while maintaining 
centralization for co-ordination of broad policies and objectives." 18 

In conformity with this policy the Chemical Warfare Service gave con- 
siderable attention during the autumn of 1942 to the possibility of trans- 
ferring elements of the Office of the Chief out of Washington. General 
Porter and his staff were reluctant to take this step for they realized it 
would make for administrative inefficiency. They had little choice in the 
matter, however. For a time they considered the possibility of moving all 
elements of the Chief's office to Edgewood but eventually gave up this 
idea as impractical. 19 General Porter and his assistants finally decided that 
certain units of the Industrial and Technical Divisions could be decentralized 
with the least loss of efficiency and in October 1942 made provision to 
move these to Edgewood. About the same time a newly activated Chemical 
Section of the Industrial Division, OC CWS, whose mission was to supervise 
the purchase of all chemicals for the CWS, was located in New York City. 
In 1943 a suboffice of the Chief was established at Baltimore, Maryland, 
with the following branches stationed there: Historical Branch of the 
Executive Office; Purchase Policies Branch of the Administrative Office of 
the Assistant Chief, CWS, for Materiel; Storage Branch of the Supply 
Division; and a branch of the Field Requirements Division. 20 This decen- 
tralization, which lasted throughout the remainder of the war, resulted in a 
need for additional personnel and in some loss in administrative efficiency. 

Organizational Dejects 

The designation "service," applied to three major administrative units 

18 Brophy, Organizational Development, p. 28. 

1!> (i) Interv, CmfHO with Maj Gen William N. Porter, USA (Ret.) 29 Apr 50. (2) Interv, 
CmlHO with Col Harry A. Kuhn, USA (Ret.) 16 Mar 50. 

20 (O Memo, C Contl Br OC CWS for C CWS, 12 Oct 42, sub: Decentralization of OC CWS. 
(2) Memo, C Ind Div OC CWS for C CWS, 21 Oct 42, sub: Reorganization of Ind Div. (3) 
Memo, C Tech Div OC CWS for C CWS, 19 Oct 42, sub: Reorganization of Tech Div. All in 
CWS 310.1. (4) OC CWS Adm O 15, n Aug 43. 



of OC CWS in July 1941, did not prove satisfactory. The term "service" 
implied command rather than staff functions; just as the Chief of the Chem- 
ical Warfare Service had command over the entire organization, so the 
chiefs of the smaller "services" under him assumed that they had command 
responsibility over their respective units. In certain matters the chiefs of 
the Industrial, the Technical, and the Field Services did have command 
responsibility. This was especially true with regard to installations, since 
each service was responsible for the conduct of activities at certain types 
of installations. The chief of the Industrial Service had jurisdiction over the 
arsenal and procurement districts, the chief of the Technical Service over 
the research laboratories and proving grounds, and the chief of the Field 
Service over the depots and training centers. 21 As a result of a suggestion 
from the Control Division, ASF, the three services of the OC CWS were 
renamed "divisions" on 28 July 1942. 22 The new divisions were intended 
to be "staff" organizations, although for some time they were allowed to 
retain a considerable degree of jurisdiction over installations. In order to 
standardize terms, the OC CWS also directed that organizations below 
division level be designated branches, sections, and subsections. 23 The desire 
of the Chief of the CWS to confine the activities of the new division chiefs 
mainly to staff activities was not entirely realized, and this was one of 
the factors which led to a major reorganization of the Chief's office in the 
spring of 1943. 

Another and more important factor centered around serious personality 
differences among a few staff members in the Chief's office. Because pro- 
curement was an extremely important function in the early period of war, 
the chief of the procurement unit was called upon to take vigorous measures 
in order to get the job done. This pressure at times led to a tendency on 
the part of the unit to dominate other elements of OC CWS, with the 
result that personality clashes occurred among key officers. Perhaps because 
the Chemical Warfare Service was a relatively small organization where 
everybody in management knew almost everybody else, personal antag- 
onisms were apt to be more pronounced than elsewhere. At any rate the 
situation as it existed in early 1943 was intolerable and needed correction. 
Something more than a shift of certain key officers was required, for there 
were also shortcomings in the over-all organizational pattern which de- 

21 (i) OC CWS Organizational Charts, i May 42. (2) IOM, C Contl Br OC CWS for C CWS, 
30 Jul 42, sub: Installations. CWS 31. 

22 Interv, Cm I HO with Lt Col S. J. Levi tan, 17 Oct 55. 

23 OC CWS Off O 40, 29 Jul 42. 



manded attention. These shortcomings in certain instances were not un- 
related to the strained personal relationships existing between key 
individuals. 24 

For example, there was a lack of co-operation on important operational 
matters between the Industrial and Technical Divisions. This difficulty 
dated back at least to 1941 when representatives of those units discussed 
some of the unsatisfactory conditions at a meeting. It was then disclosed 
that the Industrial Service had made contract awards in certain cases without 
first obtaining clearance on drawings and specifications, and that the Tech- 
nical Service had not informed the Industrial Service when changes in 
drawings and specifications were contemplated but only after they were 
completed and approved. 25 The root of this whole problem was the unsatis- 
factory state of drawings and specifications at that time — unsatisfactory, 
that is, from the point of view of mass production of the item. Contractors 
working on items could not use the existing specifications and drawings 
and had to seek modifications through waivers and changes approved by 
the CWS. A large number of such waivers and changes were issued resulting 
in complete lack of uniformity in the same part produced by different 
manufacturers. Efforts were made during 1942 to co-ordinate the operations 
of the industrial and technical agencies by assigning to the deputy chief 
of the Industrial Division and the chief of the Technical Division the deter- 
mination of policy on such activities as continuance of research on a project, 
drawing up of preliminary and final drawings and specifications for equip- 
ment, and issuance of waivers for changes of such drawings and specifica- 
tions. 26 This innovation did not prove entirely successful, and as late as 
the spring of 1943 a number of unsatisfactory procedures had still not been 
corrected. The result was that items of inferior quality were being pro- 
cured. 27 Some action to insure that CWS items would measure up to 
specifications became vitally important. 

General Porter found abundant proof that CWS materiel did not meet 
the standards required in the field, when he and Brig. Gen. Charles E. 
Loucks of his staff visited Europe in 1943. In England and North Africa 

24 This material is based on interviews with a number of key officers and civilians who were 
on duty in the Chief's office in World War II. 

25 IOM, C Proc Ping Div for C Ind Serv, 17 Nov 41, sub: Conf in Connection with Current 
Proc. CWS 337- 

26 Memo, C CWS for Chiefs Ind and Tech Divs, 25 Aug 42, sub: Co-ord of Ind and Tech Divs. 
CWS 334.2/282, 

27 (i) Interv, CmlHO with Col Charles E. Loucks (formerly CG RMA and C Ind Div OC 
CWS), 3 May 49. (2) Porter Interv, 16 Jul 49. (3) Interv, CmlHO with Col Harry A. Kuhn, 
USA (Ret.), 23 Jan 49. 



the two generals saw some of the. inferior items which had been sent out 
from the zone of interior, and the Chief returned to the United States 
determined to take drastic action with regard to uniformity of specifications 
and inspection of items. One of the first things he did was to direct the 
activation of an Inspection Division entirely independent of the Industrial 
Division. This change became part of a general reorganization of Porter's 
office which was made effective in May 1943. 

Developments, May 1943-October 1945 

Since its inception, the Control Division, OC CWS, had been conducting 
a survey aimed at improving organization. 28 On the basis of its findings 
the Control Division drew up an organizational chart and presented it to 
General Porter on his return from abroad in the spring of 1943. Among 
the objectives which the Control Division listed for the new organization 
were: reducing the number of persons reporting directly to the Chief; 
reducing the emphasis placed on the procurement function by striking a 
balance between that and other CWS functions; and improving the ma- 
chinery for calculating CWS requirements. Porter studied the chart and 
submitted it to members of his staff for comment. It was the consensus that 
the proposed organization would be a definite improvement and General 
Porter then took the matter up with Maj. Gen. Wilhelm D. Styer, Chief 
of Staff, ASF, who gave his informal approval. 29 Porter thereupon issued 
a directive on 27 May 1943 which activated the new organization. (Chart 

Under this setup there were to be two assistant chiefs, CWS, one for 
materiel and one for field operations. The Assistant Chief of CWS for 
Materiel was to "supervise and co-ordinate" the functions of development, 
procurement, inspection, and supply. These functions were to be admin- 
istered by the following divisions: Technical, Industrial, Inspection, and 
Supply. The Assistant Chief of CWS for Field Operations was to "super- 
vise and co-ordinate the preparation of plans for the utilization of chemical 
warfare materiel and troops/* Under his jurisdiction were three divisions, 
Field Requirements, Training, and War Plans and Theaters. Other divisions, 
along with the executive branches, were directly under the supervision of 

28 Memo, C Contl Div OC CWS for C CWS, sub: Activities of Contl Div for the Period 15 
Nov 42 to 31 Dec 43. 

^(i) Porter interv, 16 Jul 49. (2) Memo, C CWS for CG ASF (Attn: Dir Mil Pers), 12 
May 43, sub: Transfer of General Officer. CWS 210.3. 
30 OC CWS Off O 39, 27 May 43. 



Brig. Gen. Rollo C. Ditto, CWS, Brig. Gen. Alden H. Waitt, CWS, 
Assistant Chief of Materiel. Assistant Chief for Field Operations. 

the Chief, CWS. Brig. Gen. Rollo G Ditto was appointed Assistant Chief 
of Materiel and General Waitt, Assistant Chief for Field Operations. Each 
continued in his respective post until the close of the war. In August 1943 
General Ditto's tables of distribution called for no officers and 286 civilians 
and General Waitt* s for 54 officers and 62 civilians. The total allotment 
of officers and civilians in OC CWS at that time was 215 and 585 respec- 
tively. 31 This large number is in great contrast to the small force that had 
manned the office in the peacetime years. 

The 27 May 1943 reorganization of the Office of the Chief restricted 
command functions to the Chief himself and in a limited degree to the 
assistant chiefs. In their relations with General Porter the assistant chiefs 
were staff officers, but in regard to the divisions and installation under their 
jurisdictions they exercised command. For that reason their offices were 
generally referred to informally as "Materiel Command" and "Operations 
Command," instead of the Office of the Assistant Chief for Materiel and 
the Office of the Assistant Chief for Field Operations. Besides, the formal 
designations were much too long for day-to-day usage. 

The new setup did a great deal to improve relationships among the 

31 OC CWS Off O 55, 5 Aug 43. 



various elements of OC CWS. Better co-operation was attained between 
the Industrial and Technical Divisions. The Assistant Chief of CWS for 
Materiel now had jurisdiction over both divisions and he could act as 
arbiter in the event of differences over policy. The way was open, moreover, 
for making additional organizational changes aimed at better interdivision 
co-operation. The best example of this development was the activation of 
the Industrial Liaison Branch in the Industrial Division in August 1943. 32 
This unit acted for the chief of the Industrial Division in all matters re- 
quiring concurrence by the chief of the Technical Division, such as the 
compilation of drawings and specifications and the clearing of requests 
for changes and waivers. Again, better co-ordination was attained between 
the industrial and the supply units in OC CWS because the Assistant Chief 
for Materiel could act as an arbiter whenever differences over policy or 
procedure arose between these divisions. 

Better co-ordination of related activities was likewise attained under 
the Assistant Chief, CWS, for Field Operations. The close association of 
war plans and training had long been recognized, and for that reason 
General Waitt was given jurisdiction over both activities. A significant 
innovation was the incorporation of the intelligence function into Waitt's 
organization. Previously this unit had reported directly to the executive 
officer of OC CWS. The co-ordination of war plans, training, and intelli- 
gence under one jurisdiction in OC CWS was to prove very effective through- 
out the remainder of the war period. 

Functions of the New Medical Division 

For a decade and a half following World War I there had been a 
Medical Division in OC CWS. But in 1932 General Gilchrist had eliminated 
this division, and thereafter CWS and the Medical Department maintained 
co-ordination solely through the medical research group at Edgewood 
Arsenal. Just prior to World War II, increased emphasis began to be placed 
on the medical aspects of gas warfare, and a Committee on the Treatment 
of Gas Casualties was set up within the National Research Council. Later, 
when the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) was 
activated, the work was also carried on by its various committees and 
subcommittees. 33 The chemical warfare functions of the National Research 

u OC CWS Adm O 14, 7 Aug 43- 

33 Data on the Medical Division was obtained from a six-page report prepared by Medical 
Division for Historical Branch, OC CWS, 13 June 1945. 



Council and the Office of Scientific Research and Development overlapped, 
and by the spring of 1943 it was evident that there was need for a staff 
officer in the CWS who would co-ordinate all functions having to do with 
the medical aspects of chemical warfare. After consultation among the 
Secretary of War, The Surgeon General, and the Chief, CWS, Dr. Cornelius 
P. Rhoads of the Memorial Hospital, New York City, a renowned medical 
administrator, was selected for the post. 34 Dr. Rhoads was commissioned 
as a colonel in the Medical Corps and served as chief of the Medical 
Division until 18 April 1945 when he was succeeded by Col. John R. Wood, 
Medical Corps, who served until the close of the war. 

The Surgeon General and the Chief, CWS, reached an agreement on 
30 March 1943 on the responsibilities of the proposed Medical Division 
under Dr. Rhoads. They decided that the new division would be responsible 
for the conduct of research connected with the prevention and treatment 
of chemical warfare casualties; for carrying out toxicological studies re- 
quired by the Chief, CWS; for investigating hazards to health of CWS 
employees engaged in producing chemical warfare agents; and for keeping 
The Surgeon General informed on the results of all investigations and 
studies. 35 The Medical Division was activated on 3 July 1943, and all med- 
ical and toxicological research being performed at Edgewood was placed 
under its supervision. 36 Before the close of 1943 new CWS medical labora- 
tories had been set up at Camp Detrick, Maryland; Dugway Proving 
Ground, Utah; and Camp Sibert, Alabama; and a mobile laboratory unit 
had been activated at Bushnell, Florida. The Medical Division co-ordinated 
the research work performed in these laboratories as well as at various 
university laboratories and maintained liaison with The Surgeon General's 
Office, the NDRC, and the Canadian and British agencies carrying on 
chemical warfare research. 37 

Administrators later found that the research work and testing being 
carried on by the Medical Division overlapped that carried on by the 
Technical Division of the OC CWS. This overlapping was particularly 
pronounced in projects being conducted under tropical conditions. The 

34 (i) Porter interv, 29 Apr 50. (2) Interv, CmlHO with Dr. Cornelius P. Rhoads (C Medical 
Div OC CWS in World War II), 25 Sep 50. 

"Memo, Lt Col George W. Perkins, OC CWS, for Brig Gen Charles C. Hiilman, SGO, 30 
Mar 43, sub: Proposed Medical Div for CWS. CWS 314.7 Policy File. The proposal was initialed 
by General Waitt and Brig. Gen. Paul X. English for CWS and General Hiilman for SGO. 

36 OC CWS Off O 48, 3 Jul 43 

1 For details on NDRC-CWS relationships, see Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, From Laboratory 
to Field; and Baxter, Scientists Against Time, Chapter XVIII. 



situation improved greatly as a result of the work of the Advisory Com- 
mittee on Effectiveness of Gas Warfare in the Tropics and its operating 
agency, the Project Co-ordination Staff, which were set up in March 1944 
after consultation among American, British, and Canadian representatives 
on chemical warfare. 38 

The committee, appointed by General Porter, was made up of two 
civilians, Dr. Conant and Dr. Roger Adams, and representatives from the 
U.S. Navy, Army Air Forces, and Army Ground Forces, British Army Staff, 
British Commonwealth Scientific Office, the Canadian Government, and the 
Australian Government. To the advisory committee the Project Co-ordina- 
tion Staff submitted recommendations concerning such matters as allocation 
of problems to various field test agencies, co-ordination and standardization 
of testing methods, and the interpretation of data and results obtained 
from field tests. The Chief, CWS, appointed a prominent civilian scientist, 
Dr. W, A. Noyes, Jr., to head this staff and assigned two officers with 
the rank of lieutenant colonel as assistants. These three were on a full-time 
basis. The chairman of the committee, in addition, could receive assistance 
from representatives of the Medical Division, the Technical Division, and 
the Office of the Assistant Chief, CWS, for Field Operations. Representa- 
tives from the Navy and the British and Canadian chemical warfare 
agencies were on the staff, which had authority to communicate directly 
with stations and related projects in Australia, India, England, and the 
United States on questions of information. 39 

In order to carry out more effectively research on chemical warfare 
under tropical conditions, the United States and the Republic of Panama 
made arrangements early in 1944 to lease San Jose Island to the U.S. 
Army. This became a CWS installation, commanded during the war by a 
brigadier general. In September 1944, a San Jose Division was activated 
in the Chief's office, and the commanding general of the San Jose Project, 
Brig. Gen. Egbert F. Bullene, was made chief of this division in addition 
to his other duties. 40 

1 For details, see above,| Chapter IV~| 

- 9 (i) OC CWS Adm [no number], 28 Mar 44- (2) Memo, C CWS for Secy USCWC, 3 
Apr 44, sub: Advisory Com on Effectiveness of Gas in the Tropics. CWS 314.7 Gas Warfare 
File. (3) Memo, Noyes, Dir Proj Co-ord Staff, for Advisory Com on Effectiveness of Gas Warfare 
Materiel in the Tropics, 8 May 44, sub: Preliminary Copy of Memo to Fid Testing Agencies Out- 
lining the Organization of the Proj Co-ord Staff. CWS 314.7 Gas Warfare File. (4) Memo, C 
CWS for CG ASF, 12 Mar 46, sub: Anglo-American Co-operation on Cml Warfare Development. 

*°(i) OC CWS Adm O 22, 27 Sep 44. (2) For details, see below, Chapter VI. 



Special Projects Division 

The WBC Committee on biological warfare turned in a report to the 
Secretary of War in June 1942 which served as the basis for Stimson's 
recommending to President Roosevelt that a civilian agency be delegated 
to supervise all aspects of this type warfare. 41 Upon Presidential approval, 
the War Research Service (WRS) headed by Mr. George W. Merck was 
set up in the Federal Security Agency in the summer of 1942. The WRS 
was a small co-ordinating organization which drew on the facilities, per- 
sonnel, and experience of government and private institutions, including 
the medical services of the Army and Navy, the Chemical Warfare Service, 
the U.S. Public Health Service, the Department of Agriculture, G-2 of 
the Army, the Office of Naval Intelligence, the Office of Strategic Services, 
and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 42 After the assignment of the 
biological warfare mission to the CWS in the fall of 1941, it will be 
recalled, a Biological Division was set up in the Chief's office. 43 Later this 
division was redesignated the Special Assignments Branch. Its first chief 
was Lt. Col. James H. Defandorf, who was succeeded in March 1943 by 
Col. Fraser Moffat. The Special Assignments Branch was subject to the 
technical supervision of the WRS. 

The War Research Service secured the services of outstanding scientists 
and administrators for full-time duty with the armed forces. Among those 
whose talents were made available to the CWS was Dr. Ira L. Baldwin of 
the University of Wisconsin. Late in 1942 Dr. Baldwin was assigned to 
duty with the CWS with instructions to develop a research program, secure 
a location for a biological warfare installation, design laboratories, and 
recruit a staff. 44 By this time the WRS had decided that exhaustive investi- 
gation of biological warfare agents would require research and development 
on a scale not heretofore attempted and that the agency best equipped to 
carry out those activities was the Chemical Warfare Service. 

Through co-operation with the WRS, Dr. Baldwin secured the services 
of a formidable group of scientists and technicians. A site outside Frederick, 
Maryland, was selected for a biological warfare installation and construc- 
tion of the future Camp Detrick was begun in the spring of 1943. This 

41 Following the submission of this report the WBC Committee disbanded. 

41 "Biological Warfare, Report to the Secretary of War by Mr. George W. Merck, Special 
Consultant for Biological Warfare," The Military Surgeon, XCVIII (1946), 237-42. This is the 
so-called Merck Report, which appeared in various publications but with slight variations in the 
contents of certain paragraphs. 

43 See above, [page 48. | 

44 Ltr, Baldwin to CmlHO, 5 Dec 52. 



was the first of four biological warfare installations built during World 
War II. The others were the testing grounds at Horn Island, Pascagoula, 
Mississippi; the Granite Park installation at Tooele, Utah; and a production 
plant at Terre Haute, Indiana. 

In December 1943 the Office of Strategic Services reported to the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff that there was evidence that the German Army was preparing 
to employ biological warfare. 45 This report led Secretary Stimson on 13 
January 1944 to transfer responsibility for all biological warfare projects 
from the War Research Service to the Chemical Warfare Service. At the 
same time the Secretary directed that the Chief, CWS, co-operate with 
The Surgeon General on the defensive aspects, all under the direction of 
the Commanding General, Army Service Forces. 46 Later President Roosevelt 
confirmed this division of responsibility. 47 To co-ordinate biological war- 
fare activities in his office, Stimson appointed Mr. George Merck as special 
consultant to the Secretary of War on biological warfare. Stimson also set 
up a United States Biological Warfare Committee (USBWC) to advise 
Merck on policy matters and to maintain liaison with British and Canadian 
representatives. 48 

This action by the Secretary of War led the Chief, CWS, in January 
1944 to raise the Special Assignments Branch to the status of a division. 
The new division, known as the Special Projects Division, was headed 
successively by Cols. Martin B. Chittick, J. Enrique Zanetti, and H. N. 
Worthley. 49 In carrying out the main responsibility for biological warfare 
preparations the division supervised the activities of some 3,900 persons, 
of whom about 2,800 were Army personnel, about 1,000 Navy, and nearly 
100 Civilians. The majority of these were stationed at Camp Detrick, and 
the remainder were divided among the headquarters of the Special Projects 
Division in Washington and the other BW installations. The approved 
organization chart for 16 September 1944 listed 9 Army officers and 8 
civilians and 6 Navy officers and 7 Navy enlisted men in the headquarters 

" This report proved inaccurate. See Research and Development in the Special Projects Division 
( 1 Jul 40-14 Aug 45 ), dated 20 Sep 45. CWS 314.7 R and D File. 

46 Memo, SW for CofS, 13 Jan 44, sub: BW. Cited in Rexmond C. Cochrane, Biological War- 
fare Research in the United States, History of the Chemical Warfare Service (1 Jul 40—15 Aug 
45) P- 28. 

47 Merck Rpt. 

4S The USBWC was composed of representatives from the following headquarters: ASF, SGO, 
CWS, Navy Bureau of Medicine, Navy Bureau of Ordnance, AAF, New Developments Division 
of WD Special Staff, G-2, and Office of Strategic Services. 

41> OC CWS Off O [no number], 18 Jan 44- 



office. Included in the activities of the Special Projects Division were admin- 
istration and supervision of the work of scientists under contract in the 
universities, research institutes, and industries. Like the War Research 
Service before it, the Special Projects Division maintained liaison with 
various government and nongovernment technical groups. 

Other Developments 

From early 1944 till the close of the war very few important organiza- 
tional changes took place in the Office of the Chief. The most significant 
development had something of a psychological aspect because it concerned 
the interpretation of the relationship of the Chief, CWS, to the installations. 
In the past, as has been mentioned, the chief of the Technical Division 
considered himself responsible for the administration of laboratories and 
proving grounds, the chief of the Industrial Division for arsenals and 
procurement districts, and the chief of the Supply Division for the depots. 
These relationships wer e portrayed gra phically on the over-all organization 

chart of the OC CWS. (See Chart During 1944 the chief of the Con- 

trol Division urged the Chief, CWS, to emphasize more strongly his direct 
command jurisdiction over the installations, and General Porter did this 
by signing a new organization chart dated 11 December 1944. For the first 
time during the war the installations were represented graphically as being 
directly under the command of the Chief, CWS. To understand fully this 
relationship, it is necessary to examine the administration of CWS field 
installations in World War II. 


Field Organization of the 
Chemical Warfare Service 

The expansion of the Chemical Warfare Service field organization 
which began in the emergency period of course became much more rapid 
once war was declared. As part of the effort to meet the demands of a 
nation at war and at the same time supply the United Nations with the 
materiel to carry on war, activities at all existing CWS installations greatly 
increased, and the need for new installations arose. 

The Procurement Districts 

Most CWS procurement in World War II was effected through con- 
tracts awarded in the procurement districts. 1 The day after the United 
States declared war on Japan, General Porter recommended to the Under 
Secretary of War that the number of CWS procurement districts be increased 
from five to seven. He wanted to activate two new districts with head- 
quarters at Atlanta and Dallas in order to tap the industrial capacity of 
the southeastern and southwestern sections of the United States. For some 
years War Department plans had called for the activation of a new dis- 
trict with headquarters at Birmingham, but General Porter argued for 
Atlanta rather than Birmingham on the ground that Atlanta was a more 
important center for industries useful to the Chemical Warfare Service. 
The Chief, CWS, further recommended that if the establishment of the 
two new districts was approved, the Atlanta district be placed immediately 
on a procurement basis and Dallas on a procurement planning basis for 
the first several months, pending a more accurate survey of the latter's 
capabilities. On 17 December 1941 the Office of the Under Secretary of 
War approved these recommendations. 2 

1 For details, see Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, | From Laboratory to Field.j 
2 Ltr, C CWS to USW, 9 Dec 41, and 1st Ind, sub: Additional Cml Warfare Proc Districts. 
CWS 322.095/53. 


Late in January 1942 the Office of the Chief, CWS, sent Maj. Herbert 
P. Heiss to Atlanta to establish a procurement district office. 3 A month later 
Col. Alfred L. Rockwood was transferred from the San Francisco Procure- 
ment District to assume command of the new Atlanta office, and Major 
Heiss then proceeded to Dallas to open the new office there. He arrived in 
Dallas on 2 March, and five days later the district was activated. With the 
creation of the Atlanta and Dallas districts, some of the territory formerly 
attached to the Pittsburgh and Chicago districts was put under jurisdiction 
of the new districts. The Atlanta district included the following states: 
Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, 
and Mississippi; while the Dallas district included the states of Colorado, 
New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. (See Map, 
page n2^j\ Early in 1943, Headquarters, ASF, and OC CWS decided that 

the continuation of the Atlanta office as a separate district office was not 
justified and, in April 1943, it was designated a suboffice of the Dallas 

Of the twelve officers who were in charge of procurement districts 
during the war, seven were Regular Army officers and five were Reserve 
officers or were appointed from civilian life. 4 All the Regular Army officers 
had training and experience in procurement planning activities before the 
war and several of them had attended the Harvard University School of 
Business Administration for two-year periods. Every one of the Reserve 
officers had some experience in the industrial, financial, or commercial 
field. Lt. Col. Robert T. Norman, commanding officer of the Atlanta dis- 
trict and later executive officer of the Chicago district, had been associated 
for fourteen years with a Washington, D. C, securities and investment 
house. Col. Lester W. Hurd, commanding officer of the Boston district and 
later of the New York district, was a well-known architectural engineer in 
California. Colonel Heiss of the Atlanta and later of the Dallas districts 
had extensive banking and industrial experience. Heiss was the only com- 
manding officer who had come into the Army from civilian life and who 
had not been a member of the Reserve. Col. Clarence W. Crowell, who 

3 Ltr, C CWS to CG Fourth Corps Area, 23 Jan 42, sub: Establishment of Atlanta Cml War- 
fare Proc District. CWS 322.095/36-65. 

4 Commanding officers of each of the procurement districts during the wartime period were: 
Atlanta, Major Heiss, Colonel Rockwood, Lt. Col. Robert T. Norman; Boston, Col. Sterling E. 
Whitesides, Jr., Col. Lester W. Hurd ; Chicago, Col. Harry R. Lebkicher; Dallas, Col. H. P. Heiss, 
Col. Clarence W. Crowell ; New York, Colonel Kuhn, Col. Patrick F, Powers, Colonel Whitesides, 
Colonel Hurd (in addition to his other duties as commanding officer of the Boston Procurement 
District); Pittsburgh, Col. Rollo Ditto, Col. Raymond L. Abel; San Francisco, Col. James W. 


succeeded Colonel Heiss as commanding officer of the Dallas district, was 
vice president in charge of production at the Rochester Germicide Company, 
Rochester, New York. Col. Raymond L. Abel of the Pittsburgh district was 
a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Pittsburgh and 
had considerable practical experience in the field of petroleum engineering. 

The United States entrance into the war brought such a vast increase 
in the number of contracts that the War Department decentralized authority 
for approval of many more contracts to the procurement districts. 5 On 13 
December 1941 General Porter authorized the CWS districts to negotiate 
contracts up to and including $20o,ooo. 6 On 3 January 1942 this authority 
was extended to contracts up to $1,000,000 and on 23 March this figure 
was raised to $5,000,000 at which level it remained throughout the war. 7 

The Chemical Warfare Service experienced certain difficulties in placing 
contracts on items other than the gas mask. Thanks to the educational order 
legislation, the CWS had access to the services of a number of large 
manufacturers experienced in gas-mask production. With other chemical 
warfare items the situation was somewhat different. Since the Industrial 
Mobilization Plan of 1939 was not put into effect, the CWS lost some 
well-established contractors allocated under that plan. It was necessary, 
therefore, to seek other potential contractors, who in many instances were 
small operators. While it would have been to the advantage of the govern- 
ment in certain cases to have had contractors with larger facilities, the 
small firms, generally speaking, did an outstanding job once they had 
converted their plants and had gained experience. 8 

Organizational Developments 

The expansion of activities in the procurement districts necessitated a 
corresponding expansion of organization. Administrative units which 
formerly performed two or three functions were broken down into separate 
units. For example, in the Pittsburgh district there was a Fiscal, Property, 

For details on War Department contracts see Smith, The Army and Economic Mobilization, 
Chapter X. 

"See Memo, C CWS for USW } 23 Dec 41. CWS 160/658. 

7 (i) Ltr, C Ind Div OC CWS to COs Proc Districts and Arsenals, 3 Jan 42, sub: Authority 
to Contract. CWS 400.12/105. (2) Ltr, C CWS to COs Proc Districts and Arsenals, 23 Mar 42, 
sub: Approval of Awards and Formal Contracts. CWS 160/301 1. 

8 Almost all CWS contractors had to convert their plants because 95 percent of CWS items 
were noncommercial. See CWS Presentation at SOS Staff Conference on Procurement and Produc- 
tion, 14 January 1943, page 2 in CWS 314.7 Procurement File. 



and Transportation Section before December 1941, but in early 1942 
separate sections were activated to deal with each of those functions. In 
the Boston district, inspection, plant protection, and production were all 
under an Engineering Division until 1942 when separate sections were 
established. The activation of these separate administrative units would 
not have been possible without the increased availability of officers. 

Where the ever-growing workload did not account for the activation 
of new administrative units, the decentralization of operations in accord- 
ance with ASF policy did. In 1942 such functions as priorities and allo- 
cations and manpower utilization were decentralized to the installations. 
From 1943 to the close of the war, decentralization of operations took place 
on pricing analysis, public relations, property disposal, contract termination, 
and demobilization. Units to supervise these functions were set up in 
the district offices and other pertinent installations. 

During the opening months of 1943 the Chief of the CWS directed 
all installations to activate control units in their organizations to assist the 
Control Division of his office to carry out its functions and to conduct 
control functions in the installations themselves. 9 He indicated the benefits 
which the commanding officers might expect from such units by describing 
the work of the Control Division of his office. This division, he stated, 
had recommended measures to integrate the organization and activities 
of the service and to reduce the number of persons engaged in adminis- 
trative tasks and paper work. 10 Following receipt of General Porter's direc- 
tive, all of the CWS installations set up control units. 11 

The outstanding accomplishment in the Chemical Warfare Service with 
regard to procurement district organization was the program of standardiza- 
tion of organization and procedures that was launched in the summer of 
1943. In a letter to the commanding officer of each district the chief of 
the Control Division, OC CWS, stated that studies of record-keeping 
activities and work-simplification surveys made in the various districts 
indicated a marked disparity in the business practices of the districts. This 
resulted in certain districts utilizing more personnel than other districts 
to perform tasks of a similar extent and nature, an intolerable situation 
in the light of the manpower shortage. One step toward rectifying the 

9 See histories of CWS installations in World War II, MSS. 

10 Ltr, C CWS to CG EA, 23 Jan 43, sub: Contl Activities. CWS SPCWC 020.4 CWS (Con- 
trol). Similar letters were sent to the various installations in January and February 1943. 

11 For the influence which ASF had on the internal developments of technical services such as 
CWS, see Millett, Army Service Forces, pages 304-08. 


situation was the standardization of the district organizations. The chief 
of the Control Division of the Chief's office compiled a tentative draft of 
a manual outlining a uniform organization for procurement districts, on 
which he requested and received comments and suggestions by the com- 
manding officers. 12 

On the basis of these recommendations, together with the principles 
of organization formulated by the ASF, a standard organization was set 
up in each district in September 1943. Local conditions dictated some 
variations, but in most respects all districts were organized in essentially 
the same manner from that time until the close of the war. The Chicago 
District, for example, shows the standard setup as of 15 August 1944. 
{Chart 6)1 13 This organization was in conformity with ASF Manual M603 

which was published in 1944. After publication of the manual, a study of 
the Chicago district as typical of all CWS procurement district organizations 
revealed that the district organization was in substantial agreement with 
the standards set up by the ASF. 

The standardization of organization in the procurement districts and 
other CWS installations facilitated the standardization of administrative 
procedures. Before the Control Division survey of the districts, for example, 
each district office had its own forms and records system. This led to 
endless confusion in the Chief's office, where the data coming in from the 
installations had to be correlated. Until the forms and records were 
standardized it was extremely difficult to tell in what areas progress was 
being made. 

Procurement District Headquarters and 
Field Inspection Offices 

Following the activation of a separate Inspection Division in the OC 
CWS in May 1943, 14 the technical functions of the inspection offices at 
all CWS installations came under the jurisdiction of the new Inspection 
Division. The principle of divided jurisdiction was never entirely satis- 
factory to a number of installation commanders, who felt that since they 

12 Ltr, C Contl Div OC CWS to CO NYCWPD et al, 31 Jul 43, sub: Standardization of 
Proc Districts. CWS 319.1. 

13 The representative of the Chemical Commodity Division reported to the chief of that 
division whose headquarters were in the New York procurement district. This division was set 
up in August 1944 to centralize the administration of procurement of chemicals. For details see 
Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, |From Laboratory to Field!] 

u See above |~C"hapter V.] 
















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were generally responsible for the procurement of items they should be 
responsible for the quality of the items procured no less than for the 
quantity. 15 But the experience in the early part of the war of having the 
same officer responsible for both the production and inspection of items 
had not proved successful. The solution adopted was to take responsibility 
for inspection entirely out of the hands of the person accountable for 
production, the installation commander, and place it with an inspection 
officer responsible only to the chief of the Inspection Division, OC CWS. 

From the point of view of operations, the system was effective because 
the quality of chemical warfare items improved greatly after the spring 
of 1943. The commanding officers of the procurement districts felt, how- 
ever, that the same objectives could have been attained had the Chief, 
CWS, held them personally accountable for both quantity and quality of 
items. Such a procedure, they believed, would have avoided the administra- 
tive problems of divided authority that sprang up after separate inspection 
offices were activated in the districts. 

Developments in 1945 

Following V-E Day the Pittsburgh Procurement District was deactivated 
and the Boston and New York districts were consolidated under one com- 
manding officer. This was the result of a requirement by ASF that for 
reasons of economy the number of CWS installations be reduced. In June 
1945 Colonel Hurd, commanding officer of the Boston district, was named 
commanding officer of the New York district in addition to his other 
duties. During the preceding month, plans had been worked out to transfer 
part of the Pittsburgh district's business to the Chicago district and the 
remainder to the New York district and to set up a suboffice of the New 
York district in Pittsburgh. By V-J Day the transfers had been made, but 
owing to the sudden ending of the war the Pittsburgh suboffice was never 

The Chemical Warfare Center 

The increased activities at Edgewood in research, training, manufac- 
turing, and storage had, by the start of the war, made the designation 

"Based on interviews and correspondence by the Chemical Corps Historical Office with 
installation commanders and key personnel of the Inspection Division, OC CWS. 




Pi ^ 
S ° 



s ° - 





C » C 

o c o 



l» 8 


^ en 




1/1 — 



Edgewood Arsenal a misnomer. 
Five days after Pearl Harbor, Gen- 
eral Porter called this fact to the 
attention of the War Department 
in a letter recommending that a 
Chemical Warfare Center be ac- 
tivated at Edgewood. No action 
was taken on that recommendation, 
and on 23 February 1942 the Chief, 
CWS, again recommended that a 
center be set up under a command- 
ing general , with several ' ' inter- 
mediate' ' commanders to supervise 
the functions of research and de- 
velopment, training, and manufac- 
turing. On 6 May 1942 the Secre- 
tary of War approved the recom- 
mendation, and four days later the 
Chemical Warfare Center was ac- 
tivated. 16 

Brig. Gen. Ray L. Avery, commanding general of E dgewood A rsenal, 
was put in charge of the new Chemical Warfare Center. {Chart 7) Avery 
remained in that post for the duration of the war, retiring trom active 
service in April 1946. The organization of the center changed little through- 
out the war except for the activation of units to carry out newly assigned 
functions. For example, in February 1943 a Control Division was estab- 
lished, and in May the old Inspection Office was abolished and a new 
Inspection Office reporting directly to the chief of the Inspection Division, 
OC CWS, was activated. 

The transfer of elements of the Chief's office to Edgewood in the 
fall of 1942 led to some administrative difficulties, particularly in personnel 
matters. 17 The Technical Division, OC CWS, for example, wanted to control 
its members located at Edgewood directly through the Washington office. 
The chief of the Technical Division felt that he could obtain more and 
better qualified employees in that way. The Chief, CWS, nevertheless, de- 

Brig. Gen. Ray L. Avery, Command- 
ing General, Chemical Warfare Center, 
Edgewood Arsenal, Md. } 1942-46, 

10 (i) Ltr, C CWS to TAG, 12 Dec 41, and inds, sub: Cml Warfare Center. (2) Ltr, C CWS 
to TAG, 23 Feb 42, and inds, sub: Cml Warfare Center, EA, Md. Both in CWS 322.095/52. 
(3) EA GO 8, 20 Apr 42, an d EA GO 18, 4 Dec 42. 

" See above j Chapter V. | 



cided that all personnel activities at the Chemical Warfare Center should 
be processed through that headquarters and this procedure was adopted. 

The duties of the commanding general of the Chemical Warfare Center 
corresponded closely to those of a post commander. They included per- 
sonnel administration, internal security, public relations, post inspection, 
and post engineer functions for all elements of the center. The centralization 
of administration for those activities invariably made for a greater degree 
of efficiency. For example, it was far more effective to have one central 
office administer personnel functions than to have a half dozen independent 
offices scattered over the post, as was formerly the practice. 18 

The Arsenals 

The Chemical Warfare Center included an Arsenal Operations Depart- 
ment which supervised strictly arsenal activities. As the new arsenals at 
Huntsville and Pine Bluff and later at Rocky Mountain 19 got into opera- 
tion, the nature of arsenal activities at Edgewood changed. These new 
arsenals took over the bulk of the arsenal operations in the CWS, and the 
Edgewood plants eventually assumed the role of pilot plants, in addition 
to handling a number of M blitz" jobs. 

On 6 May 1942 General Porter recommended to the Secretary of War 
that another CWS arsenal be erected near Denver, Colorado. Within a week 
Under Secretary of War Patterson issued a memorandum of approval for 
construction of the new arsenal. 20 This memorandum stated that the new 
installation would be used for producing certain gases and for loading 
operations and that the necessary funds, except for the purchase of land, 
would be made available to the CWS by the Army Air Forces. 

Construction of the new arsenal, which was designated Rocky Mountain 
Arsenal, was begun in June 1942. As a result of the experience gained in 
building earlier CWS arsenals, the quality of its construction was superior 
to that of the others. 

In the course of the war each of the CWS arsenals came to carry out 
much the same type of operation. Although the original plants at the 
new Pine Bluff and Rocky Mountain Arsenals were built to carry out 
certain specific operations, other types of plants were shortly erected at 
both arsenals. During the war, each of the CWS arsenals manufactured toxic 

18 Ltr, Asst Ex O to Comdt Cml Warfare School et ah, 20 Oct 42, sub: Centralization of Civ 
Pers Functions. CWS 314.7/7 Eastern Cml Dep. 
19 See below, |pp. i6j-6S.\ 
M WD Memo ot Approval 438, 12 May 42. 


agents, smoke and incendiary materiel, and with these filled shells, grenades, 
pots, and bombs supplied, as a rule, by the Ordnance Department. 21 

The physical layout of an arsenal was not without its effect upon the 
installation's organization and administration. Of all the CWS arsenals, 
Huntsville was by far the least compact. There, three separate plant areas 
had been erected, each separated by considerable distances, and each in 
turn separated from headquarters by several miles. Two of the plant areas 
were duplicates of each other, because Huntsville Arsenal was built 
on the theory that an enemy air attack was entirely feasible and that if 
one area were knocked out there was a chance that the other area might 
be saved. The third plant area at Huntsville was used for manufacturing 
and filling incendiaries. In setting up an organization for the post, General 
Ditto arranged for each area to have its own administrative units for 
engineering, personnel administration, property administration, storage, 
and transportation. 22 Although these units were responsible to higher eche- 
lon units at post headquarters, the supervision was more nominal than 
real. Because the system obviously made for duplication and added expense, 
it soon became necessary to set up a more centralized organization at 

In contrast to Huntsville, Pine Bluff and Rocky Mountain Arsenals 
were compact, and therefore no basis existed for the duplication of ad- 
ministrative units. But those arsenals, like other CWS installations, were 
characterized by basic organizational and administrative defects in the 
early period of their existence. One of those defects was the fact that a 
great number of individuals reported directly to the commanding officer; 
in other words, there was not proper delegation of authority. Still more 
serious was the tendency on the part of commanding officers to organize 
and administer arsenals like other posts, camps, and stations. This tendency 
sprang from the limited experience of CWS officers in arsenal operations 
which were of course more technical than operations at other types of 
installations. Unlike the Ordnance Department, whose arsenal activities 
dated back many years and were carried on somewhat extensively even 
in peacetime, CWS operations came to a halt following World War I and 

Z1 (i) For details on construction and operations of CWS arsenals, see Brophy, Miles, and 
Cochrane, | From Laboratory to Field.| (2) See CWS Rpt of Production, 1 Jan 40 through 31 Dec 
45, compiled by Production Br Proc Div, OC CWS in CWS 314.7 Production File. 

" General Ditto served as commanding general of Huntsville Arsenal until he was appointed 
Assistant Chief, CWS, for Materiel in May 1943. He was succeeded by Col, Geoffrey Marshall. 
The commanding generals of the other arsenals were: Brig. Gen. Augustin M. Prentiss, Pine 
Bluff; General Loucks and, later, Brig. Gen. Alexander Wilson, Rocky Mountain. 



were not resumed until the emergency period. 23 Consequently there were 
very few CWS officers, or civilians either, who were experts in arsenal activ- 
ities. When war broke out, it was necessary for the Chief, CWS, to put 
his arsenals under the command of high ranking officers considered good 
administrators in the hope that they would utilize the services of Reserve 
officers who were experts in the technical operations. 24 

The defects in arsenal organization were largely overcome by the close 
of 1943. Under the ASF program for organizational improvement, both 
the Control and Industrial Divisions, OC CWS, reviewed closely the or- 
ganization charts of the various arsenals. Where the charts did not conform 
to organizational standards, the commanding officers were contacted per- 
sonally with a view to having them make the necessary changes. 25 

The Depots 

At the time war was declared new depots at Huntsville and Pine Bluff 
were in the planning stages, and the site for another depot in northern 
Utah had not yet been selected. 20 The burden on the Edgewood Depot 
consequently was heavy, although the situation was somewhat eased by 
the procedure adopted by the Supply Division, OC CWS, during the 
emergency period of shipping equipment directly from points of manufac- 
ture to posts, camps, and stations throughout the country. The new depots 
at Huntsville and Pine Bluff were ready for partial operation in the fall 
of 1942. The site finally selected for the new depot in Utah was in Rush 
Valley, Tooele County, near the town of St. John. There by early 1942 
the CWS erected an immense new installation comprising 370,000 square 
feet of closed storage space. In July 1942 this installation was designated 
the Deseret Chemical Warfare Depot. 27 Also in 1942, while the new 
depots were under construction, the Chemical Warfare Service acquired 
additional storage facilities in the following War Department general 
depots: San Antonio, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee; Atlanta, Georgia; Ogden, 
Utah; and New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. In March 1942 a large ware- 

Constance McLaughlin Green, Harry C. Thomson, and Peter C. Roots, The Ordnance 
Department: Planning Munitions for War, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II 
(Washington: 1955), Ch II. (2) Levin H. Campbell, The Industry-Ordnance Team (New York: 
McGraw-Hill, 1946), Ch. III. 
21 Porter interv, 29 Apr 50. 

25 Intervs, CmlHO with pers of Contl Div and Ind Div, OC CWS. 

29 History of the Deseret Chemical Warfare Depot to June 30, 1945, p. 3. MS. 

27 Ltr, TAG to C CWS, 14 Jul 42, sub: Designation of Deseret Cml Warfare Dep. AG 681. 


house at Indianapolis, which the CWS had been occupying, was selected 
as a depot for spare parts. 28 

Originally the depots located at CWS arsenals had the same name as 
the arsenals, which led to confusion in the mails. In July 1943, therefore, 
the names of those depots were changed as follows: Edgewood Chemical 
Warfare Depot to Eastern Chemical Warfare Depot, Huntsville Chemical 
Warfare Depot to Gulf Chemical Warfare Depot, and Pine Bluff Chemical 
Warfare Depot to Midwest Chemical Warfare Depot. 29 The latter two 
depots were under the jurisdiction of the commanding officers of the arsenals 
to which they were attached. While not officially designated as a depot, 
a storage area at Rocky Mountain Arsenal was used to store items not 
shipped immediately to ports of embarkation. 

In 1944 the CWS acquired the last of its wartime depots when 1,100 
acres of the Lake Ontario Ordnance Works were transferred to the CWS 

and designated the Northeast Chemical Warfare Depot. 30 {Chart 8) 

The administration of the Eastern, Gulf, and Midwest Depots had 
one characteristic in common: 31 in each case housekeeping functions were 
performed by an adjoining installation. In the case of the Eastern Depot 
the Chemical Warfare Center took care of those functions, while the Gulf 
and Midwest housekeeping functions were handled by Huntsville and Pine 
Bluff Arsenals respectively. In contrast to those three depots the other three 
— Deseret, Northeast, and Indianapolis — were responsible for their own 
housekeeping activities. In the CWS sections of general depots the Quarter- 
master Corps had responsibility. 

Standardization of Depot Organizations 

In no type of installation was such uniformity of organization achieved 
as in the depots. This was the result of the intense interest which the 
ASF showed in storage and distribution activities. Early in 1943 the ASF 
made a survey of operating and storage methods in typical depots under 

28 Interv, CmlHO with Col Oscar Gullans, 6 Dec 54. Gullans was commanding officer of the 
Indianapolis Depot during World War II. 

29 ASF Memo 850-4—43, 10 Aug 43, sub: Redesignation of CWS Br Deps. 

30 Ltr, TAG to C CWS, 27 Jun 44- AG 323.3. 

31 The commanding officers at the depots were: Col. Maurice S. Willett, Eastern; Col. Edward 
B. Blanchard and later, Col. William S. Bacon, Deseret; Lt. Col. Oscar Gullans, Indianapolis; 
and Maj. Homer J. Deschenes, Northeast. Officer in charge of depot operations at Gulf Depot was 
Maj. William C. Behrenberg and later, Maj. James H. Cochran. Officer in charge at Midwest 
Depot was Maj. Henry B. Merrill and later, Maj. Eldon B. Engle. 

Chart 8 — Schematic Diagram, Chemical Warfare Supply, 
As of 6 December 1944 


its jurisdiction. Its findings were published in Depot Operations Report 
No. 67, March 1943, which, after making a number of criticisms of current 
depot administration, went on to recommend basic organizational changes. 
Chief among the changes was the activation of storage, stock control, and 
maintenance units in all technical services headquarters and in all depots. 

Pursuant to ASF directives the chief of the Supply Division, OC CWS, 
took immediate steps to reorganize his division to include Storage, Stock 
Control, and Maintenance Branches. 32 Col. Norman D. Gillet also directed 
the depots and the chemical sections of ASF depots to set up similar units. 
By the summer of 1943 this had been accomplished. By the fall, control 
units had also been activated in the depots, and the commanding officers 
could thereby better maintain organizational standards established by higher 
echelons. The publication of ASF Manual M417 in 1944 also served as a 
guide to depot commanders on organizational standards. Chart 9 shows a 
typical depot organization, that of the Eastern Depot, in April 1945. 

Training Installations and Facilities 33 

Camp Sibert 

The expanded training program of the Army had by late 1941 led to 
the need for additional CWS training facilities. In recognition of this fact, 
G-3 on 2 December 1941 advised the Chief, CWS, that a new chemical 
warfare replacement training center would be required in 1942. 34 With 
an adequate training area not available at Edgewood, it was necessary to 
consider locating the training center elsewhere. A survey of the Maryland 
countryside failed to disclose a large tract of reasonably priced land suitable 
for the purpose, and a decision was made to locate a site elsewhere. In the 
spring of 1942 an area near Gadsden, Alabama, in Etowah and Saint Clair 
Counties, was surveyed and selected. This site included 36,300 acres of 
sparsely inhabited rolling Alabama farmland, ample for a 5,000-man re- 
placement training center and also able to accommodate, as stipulated by 
the CWS, eventual expansion to 30,000 to provide for unit training. Promise 
of good health conditions and suitability for year-round training led the 

32 See Leo P. Brophv. Or ganizational Development, pp. 247, 251—53. 

33 See betow. fPart Two,! for details on CWS training activities during World War II. 

34 Memo, ACofS G-3 for C CWS, 2 Dec 41, sub: Expansion of CWS RTC Capacity. CWS 

Chart 9 — Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland: 

Responsible for the administration 
and the fulfillment of the supply 
mission of the Depot. 


Acts as assistant to the Commanding 
Officer and takes direct action on all 
matters not requiting the personal atten- 
tion of the Commanding Officer. 


Maintains liaison with 
Divisions ol the Chemical 
Warfare Center ol Edge- 
wood Arsenal, Md,, 
charged with such functions. 


Handles all matters re- 
lating to administration 
and office management. 
Provides communication 
and messenger service for 
the depot as whole. Pro- 
vides for adequate internal 
security and safety. As- 
sumes responsibility for 
depot property. Oper- 
ates the motor vehicle pool. 
Receives and disposes of 
property turned in for 



Assumes responsibility for 
all office service functions 
within the depot. Distrib- 
utes all publications and 
maintains a library. As- 
signs office space. Pro- 
vides custodial services for 
the depot — except in shops 
and warehouses, Admin- 
isters ihe depot malar pool, 
dispatching and operating 
the passenger vehicles 
Receives, distributes and 
safeguards classified corre- 
spondence. Maintains 
and operates reproduction 
facilities lor the depot- 
except for reproduction ol 
the Wor Department 
Shipping Documenl. 


Maintains liaison with 
Internal Security, Military 
Intelligence, and Industrial 
Safety Divisions of the 
Chemical Warfare Center 
Edgewood Arsenal, Md. 
Maintains a safety pro- 
gram and enforces sofety 
regulations. Investigates 
accidents involving death, 
personal injury, or properly 


Requisitions from the 
appropriate supply depot 
or the Procurement Divi- 
sion, receives, stores, issues, 
maintains accountability 
lor all depot property, 
excluding supplies for 
storage and issue by the 
depot. Performs the func- 
tions of a station supply 
officer as detailed in TM 
36-403, "Station Supply 
Procedures", except for 
Section III. 


Receives and disposes of 
property turned in for 


Receives and distributes 
all incoming mail and dis- 
patches outgoing mail, 
provides messenger service 
For the depot receives and 
dispatches all telegrams 
and teletypes, maintains 
files for the office of the 
Commanding Officer and 
the Administration Divi- 
sion, maintains all stored 
files for the depot and 
supervises the scheduling of 
Files and records for reten- 
tion or far disposition. 


Furnishes information to the Commanding 
Officer on all Fiscal matters under provi- 
sions of current War Department Cir- 
culars. Controls all Funds available to 
the Depot. Maintains necessary records. 

Eastern Chemical Warfare Depot, As of 20 April 1945 


Maintains liaison with Control 
Division of Chemical Warfare 
Center, Edge wood Arsenal, 



Maintains liaison with the 
Military Personnel Branch, 
Chemical Warfare Centet, 
Edgewood Atsenal, Md. 
Maintains records of the 
military personnel. 


Develops good placement 
standards and practices in 
relation to assignments and 
reassignrnents, develop- 
ment, evaluation and pro- 
motion oF employees, and 
in relation to plans for 
meeting increases or de- 
creases of working force. 


Administer Military and 
Civilian Depot Personnel. 
Co-ordinate personnel 
matters with Personnel 
Division Edgewood Ar- 
senal. Perform personnel 
activities, such as place- 
ment training, evaluation, 
etc. Administers effi- 
ciency rating program. 


Maintains liaison with the 
Civilian Personnel Branch, 
Chemical Warfare Center, 
Edgewood Arsenal, Md, 
Maintains records of the 
civilian personnel. 


Supervises and operates all 
maintenance and repair 
facilities for materials- 
handling equipment and 
other mechanical equip- 
ment used in the depot. 
Develops preventive main- 
tenance practices and 
supervises the application 
of regulations pertaining to 
proper use and preserva- 
tion of depot equipment. 
Performs first and second 
echelon maintenance on 
depot motor paol vehicles 
and maintains liaison with 
Motor Transportation 
Division of Chemical War- 
Fare Center, Edgewood 
Arsenal, Md.,with regard 
to maintenance aryj repoir 
of motor pool vehicles. 


Determines (raining needs 
and formulates training 
plans and procedures For 
the depot. Administers 
certain training courses. 
Evaluates the adequacy 
and effectiveness of the 
training program of the 


Processes all appointments, 
changes in status, separa- 
tions and other types of 
personnel actions. Main- 
tains records of civilian 
personnel. Prepares re- 
ports on personnel as 


Maintains liaison with 
Transportation Corps 
Division of Chemical War- 
fare Center of Edgewood 
Arsenal. Md 


Maintains records relating 
to attendance, leave, and 
War Bonds. Prepares all 
reports relating ta leave, 
attendance, and War 


Determine and certify as ta the applica- 
bility and availobility of funds prior to 
the incurrence of obligations. Issue pur- 
chase authorization advice as requested. 
Secures funds required by Depot and 
prepares any related budgetary esti- 
mates. Processes all reimbursement 
transactions authorized at the Depot and 
processes all other collections made by 
the Depot. 


Maintains fiscal accounting records per- 
taining to funds available ta the depot. 
Prepares required reports on the status of 
availoble funds. Performs internal audit 
Functions within the Depot as directed. 


Prepare and forward necessary lorms to 
Finance Office for payment of purchases 
made through Procurement Division and 
Finance Office, Edgewood Arsenal, for 
Depot. Receive necessary supporting 
papers including obligating documents, 
invoices and receiving reports. Examine 
all such documents as to propriety, 
mathematical accuracy, and account 
classification. Maintain liaison with 
Procurement Division and Finance 
Office, Edgewood Arsenal 



CWS to determine on this location 
for its new training center. 35 The 
Chief of Engineers was accordingly 
directed in May 1942 to construct 
the housing facilities for a 5,000- 
man replacement training center 
with completion date set for 1 De- 
cember 1 942. 30 The new reserva- 
tion was designated Camp Sibert 
in honor of the first Chief of the 
Chemical Warfare Service. 37 Col. 
Thomas J. Johnston was made com- 
manding officer while construction 
was still under way. When the 
RTC was moved from Edgewood 
to Camp Sibert in the summer of 
1942, Colonel Johnston became the 
camp commander and Brig. Gen. 
Haig Shelter jian, the RTC com- 

In the fall of 1942 the War Department authorized activation of a 
Unit Training Center (UTC) at Camp Sibert. Activation of the UTC, 
Chemical Warfare Service officials felt, would require another headquarters 
since the functions of replacement training and unit training were so dif- 
ferent that it would be impracticable to include them under one command. 38 
Therefore the UTC was activated as a separate CWS installation in Sep- 
tember 1942. The War Department letter authorizing the installation was 
indorsed by the Fourth Service Command to the commanding general of 
the CWS Replacement Training Center instructing him to activate and 
assume command of the new Unit Training Center. 39 Accordingly General 
Shekerjian became responsible for replacement and unit training activities. 

33 Rpt of Investigation of Site for CWS RTC: Atlanta Engineering District, 28 May 42, re- 
produced as Appendix B in Training of Replacement, Fillers and Cadres (Through 30 June 1944)* 
CWS History of Training, Pt. IV. 

M Memo, CG SOS for CofEngrs, 19 May 42, sub: CWS RTC, Gadsden, Ala. Area. CWS 

37 WD GO 47, 21 Sep 42. 

38 Interv, CmlHO with Brig Gen Egbert F. Bullene (formerly CO UTC), 27 Jan 50. 

w Ltr, TAG to C CWS et aL, 27 Sep 42, sub: Establishment of CWS UTC, Gadsden, Ala. 
CWS 320.2. 

General Shekerjian, Commanding 
General, Replacement Training Center, 
Camp Sibert, Alabama, 


This arrangement was not satis- 
factory to the Chief, CWS, who be- 
lieved that efficient administration 
required separate commanding of- 
ficers for the UTC and the RTC. By 
January 1943 the number of units in 
training at Sibert had reached fifty- 
four, as compared with thirteen 
two months before, and General 
Porter thereupon appointed Col . 
Egbert F. Bullene, chief of the 
Training Division in his office, as 
commanding officer of the Unit 
Training Center. 40 Bullene was pro- 
moted to brigadier general on 27 
April 1943, so that both the RTC 

and the UTC were commanded by 

. rr ir. General Bullene, Commander, 

general officers each of whom Unh Tmlnlng c ^ Qamp s ^ 

enjoyed a status of relative in- Alabama. (Photograph taken hi 1952.) 
dependence. Meanwhile, Colonel 

Johnston continued to command the post, providing services and utilities for 
both training centers. Between the two centers a rivalry developed, which 
was open and probably not unhealthy. 

Within less than three months these administrative arrangements met 
with opposition from the commanding general of the Fourth Service 
Command, who objected to communicating with two general officers, each 
of whom commanded autonomous installations at the same military station. 
On 24 May 1943 he recommended to the ASF that existing instructions 
be amended to permit him to assign General Shekerjian as post commander 
and commanding general of the RTC, with Bullene, as Shekerjian's sub- 
ordinate, to command the UTC. 41 General Porter opposed this recommenda- 
tion but General Somervell sustained it, and appropriate orders were accord- 
ingly issued. The new arrangement continued in effect until the UTC 
operations were suspended in March 1944. 

The commanding general of the service command had ample authority 
on which to base his recommendations of 24 May, for just twelve days 
before the ASF had designated Camp Sibert a Class I installation of the 

40 WD SO 4 i, Par 2, 27 Feb 43* 

41 Ltr, CG Fourth Serv Comd to CG ASF, 24 May 43, sub: Reassignment of Officers at Camp 
Sibert, Ala. AG 210.31 Camp Sibert. 



Fourth Service Command. 42 This was in conformity with ASF policy in 1943 
of emphasizing the role of the service commands in technical training. 43 
The chiefs of the technical services resisted this policy because they naturally 
disliked surrendering direct control over their branch training. When 
General Porter heard that Camp Sibert had been made a Class I installation, 
he wrote a letter to General Somervell in which he questioned the wisdom 
of the move. "Great pains," he declared, "have been taken to insure the 
proper functioning of the training activities at Camp Sibert which are 
essential not only for their product but as a laboratory for the development 
of chemical warfare materiel of new and untried types .... the radical 
change proposed might well cancel a considerable part of the progress 
made." To this General Somervell replied that he was convinced the new 
system would work well, and he urged General Porter to give it "a fair and 
impartial trial/' 44 Actual transfer was made in July 1943, and from that 
time until the close of the war the Chief, CWS, was responsible only for 
the promulgation of training doctrine, the establishment of student quotas, 
and the preparation of training programs. 

West Coast Chemical School 

In July 1943 the CWS asked the ASF for authority to establish a chem- 
ical warfare school toward the West Coast. The recommendation was ad- 
vanced as a means of providing final instruction for military personnel 
moving into Pacific theaters of operations and of eliminating extensive 
travel for those selected at western stations for training in chemical war- 
fare. The functions of the new school would be: (1) to provide for short 
technical refresher courses of one-week duration for CWS officers in the 
Far West who were scheduled for overseas duty; (2) to provide short 
courses for units gas officers who could not be economically sent to the Chem- 
ical Warfare School at Edgewood; (3) to conduct training for civilians, 
as directed by the Office of Civilian Defense; and (4) to meet requests of 
naval authorities for training naval personnel on the Pacific coast in gas 
defense. 45 

42 AR 170-10, as amended 12 May 43. This regulation, originally issued 24 December 1942, 
defined a Class I installation as one coming under the jurisdiction of a service command and a 
Class IV installation as one subject to the chief of a technical service, 

43 Millett, Army Service Forces, pp. 326—29. 

44 Memo, C CWS for CG ASF, 3 Jun 43, and 1st Ind, 9 Jun 43. CWS 323.3 Sibert 43. 

45 Ltr, AC CWS for Fid Opns to CG ASF, 14 Jul 43, sub: Cml Warfare School. CWS 352.11. 


The reaction of the ASF to the proposal for another chemical warfare 
school under the jurisdiction of the Chief, CWS, was not favorable. In- 
stead, the chief of the Training Division, ASF, on n September 1943 
directed that a chemical warfare school be set up at Camp Beale, California, 
as a Class I installation under the jurisdiction of the commanding general 
of the Ninth Service Command. 46 Such a school, known as the West Coast 
Chemical School, was activated in October 1943, and the first class assem- 
bled on 13 December. 47 As of 8 March 1944, 100 students were in attend- 
ance at the school, 56 of whom were officers and 44, enlisted men. These 
included personnel from the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps. 48 
Col. Maurice E. Jennings was named commandant of the school. 

The school at Camp Beale was so located that it could operate with 
little interference from other activities at the post. Its physical layout con- 
sisted of six 2-story barracks buildings, two mess halls, a i-story supply 
building, a i-story headquarters building, and a i-story building used for 
a library, a day room for enlisted men, a post office, and a publications 
supply room. The commanding general at Camp Beale was most co- 
operative in furnishing the school with any facilities it required. 

Experience finally demonstrated, however, that it was not feasible to 
operate the school as an activity of a service command, and on 24 April 
1944 General Porter requested the director of Military Personnel, ASF, 
to relocate the school at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. The Chief, CWS, gave 
a number of reasons why he preferred to have the school at Rocky Moun- 
tain. There it would have the benefit of an environment meeting the special 
needs of the CWS, where the commanding general could furnish the school 
with chemical warfare materiel, and where the students would be impressed 
with all the activities of a CWS installation. More direct liaison would be 
afforded between the instructors at the school and the Chief's office, and 
thus the staff of the school could keep up to date on current developments 
in the CWS. The weather and terrain at Rocky Mountain Arsenal were 
more conducive to the use of smoke and chemical agents in training than 
at Camp Beale, and finally the housing and classroom facilities at the 
arsenal were more suitable for conducting classes. 49 General Porter's recom- 

4B TWX, C Tng Div ASF to CWS, c/o Dugway Proving Ground, 15 Oct 43. CWS 352.11. 

47 Ninth Serv Comd GO 135, 17 Oct 43. 

48 Memo, School Br, Mil Tng Div ASF for Dir of Mil Tng ASF, 8 Mar 44, sub: Tng Inspec- 
tion of West Coast Cml Warfare School, Camp Beale, Marysville, Calif. CWS 333. 

* fl Ltr, C CWS to CG ASF, 24 Apr 44, sub: Relocation of West Coast Cml Warfare School, 
Camp Beale, Calif. CWS 323.3. 



mendation to move the school was approved by the ASF on 14 May 1944 
and on 1 June by the Secretary of War. 50 From June 1944 until the close 
of the war the school, which was now renamed the Western Chemical 
Warfare School, was an activity of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. Col. 
George J. B. Fisher succeeded Colonel Jennings as commandant when the 
school was moved to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. In July 1945 Colonel 
Fisher was transferred to overseas duty and was succeeded by Col. Harold 
Walmsley, who remained commandant until the close of the war. 

Research and Development Facilities 

During the emergency period it became evident that the facilities for 
research, development, and testing at Edgewood were not adequate for 
the large-scale program being inaugurated. As mentioned above, a new 
technical research center had been constructed by December 1941, and by 
that time also a new CWS laboratory had been erected on the campus of 
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 51 Later the CWS acquired the 
use of a laboratory at Columbia University. Both laboratories became CWS 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Laboratory? 2 

In the autumn of 1940 Bradley Dewey, president of the Dewey and 
Almy Chemical Company, who had headed the Gas Defense Production 
Division, CWS, in World War I and had kept up an active interest in the 
service in the peacetime years, suggested that a new CWS development 
laboratory be established at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 53 The 
following February the proposition was discussed at a conference of high 
ranking CWS officers and outstanding scientists in Washington. 54 The 

M Ltr, TAG to CG Ninth Serv Cmd and C CWS, i Jun 44, sub: Transfer and Redesignation 
of West Coast Cml Warfare School. AG 352 (29 May 44) OB-I-SPMOU-M. 
51 See above JChapte77l~l 

"Unless otherwise indicated this section is based on an unpublished installation history of 
MIT completed by CO CWS-MIT in World War II and Sylvester J. Hemleben, MIT CWS 
Development Laboratory, The History of Research and Development of the Chemical Warfare 
Service in World War II. 

03 (1) See above j Chapte7T1 (2) Ltr, Ex O OC CWS to Dr. Karl T. Compton, 15 Feb 41 ■ CWS 

54 The following representatives of CWS were at the conference: General Baker, C CWS; 
Colonel English, Executive Officer, OC CWS ; and Colonel Barker, chief of the Technical Division, 
OC CWS. The following scientists were present: Dr. Lewis, Dr. H. E. Howe, Dr. Conant, and 
Bradley Dewey. 


purpose of the conference was described in these words: "To consider the 
possibility of providing for additional development space and facilities 
for the Chemical Warfare Service in order that any new ideas, devices, or 
processes developed on the laboratory basis by the National Defense Re- 
search Committee might be tested out on a large scale to determine their 
probable application for military purposes." 55 Conference members decided 
to approach Dr. Karl T. Compton, president of MIT, on the possibility 
of the CWS obtaining additional facilities there. 

By mid-March an agreement had been drawn up between the CWS and 
MIT which provided for a half-million dollar laboratory on grounds to 
be leased to the CWS upon approval of the War Department and the 
National Defense Research Committee. 56 Under this agreement the services 
of the MIT faculty, for advisory and consultant purposes, were made avail- 
able to the Chemical Warfare Service. The new development laboratory 
when erected was made a Class IV installation of the CWS under Army 
Regulation 170-10 and was put under the command of Capt. Jacquard H. 
Rothschild. As of 28 May 1943 the organization chart of the installation 
called for 117 officers and 215 civilians. Because of the nature of its activ- 
ities, the laboratory was organized along functional lines; the divisions 
were Protective Materials, Respiratory, Chemical Development, and Engi- 
neering and Test. The laboratory continued in operation until 21 August 

Columbia University Laboratory.* 1 

The transfer of the incendiary bomb program to the CWS in the fall 
of 1 94 1 created the need for a laboratory devoted to the development of 
incendiary munitions. Col. J. Enrique Zanetti, whom General Porter had 
named as chief of the Incendiaries Branch in his headquarters, was a member 
of the Columbia University faculty in chemistry and was therefore intimately 
acquainted with the potentialities of the university's laboratories. Zanetti 
envisioned an arrangement between CWS and Columbia such as already 
existed between CWS and Massachusetts Institute of Technology: the 
university would lease laboratory and office space to the Chemical Warfare 

65 Ltr, Ex O OC CWS to CG EA, 17 Feb 41, sub: Additional CWS Development Facilities. 
CWS 3^4.8/146-48. 

16 1st Ind, 20 Mar 41, on Ltr, C CWS to TAG, 28 Feb 41. CWS 111/16. 

57 This section is based on Bernard Baum, Columbia University CWS Laboratories, History of 
Research and Development of the Chemical Warfare Service in World War II, and Interv, 
CmlHO with Prof. J. Enrique Zanetti, 25 Sep 50. 



Service and make available the services of its faculty members in engineering 
and chemistry, and CWS would establish an administrative unit at the 
university. Late in 1941 Colonel Zanetti approached Columbia's president, 
Nicholas Murray Butler, on the proposition, and in early 1942 President 
Butler agreed to the arrangement. On 31 January 1942 the War Department 
approved the proposition, and a formal contract, similar to the CWS-MIT 
contract was drawn up. 58 

In April 1942 Lt Col. Ralph H. Talmadge was put in command of 
the Columbia laboratory, which was designated a Class IV activity. A 
peak personnel figure of 43 was reached at the laboratory in May 1943; 
of those, 23 were officers, and 20 were civilians. The civilian employees 
were not under federal civil service but were hired and trained by the 

When the Incendiary Branch of the Chief's office was inactivated in 
June 1942, supervision of the Columbia CWS laboratory was turned over 
to the Technical Division, OC CWS. The scope of the laboratory's activities 
was broadened to include development work not only on the incendiary 
bomb but also on other items such as the 4.2-inch chemical mortar and the 
flame thrower. On 31 December 1943 the CWS-Columbia University con- 
tract was terminated and the laboratory's functions transferred to the 
Chemical Warfare Center. 

Testing Facilities 

The expansion of CWS research and development activities created a 
demand for new chemical warfare testing stations. At the start of the war 
all chemical warfare testing was done at Edgewood, where the Technical, 
Medical, and Inspection Divisions, the Chemical Warfare Board, the 
Chemical Warfare School, and the adjoining Aberdeen Proving Ground 
of the Ordnance Department all shared the same testing fields. By the 
time war was declared these facilities were already greatly overcrowded. 
To complicate matters still more, testing at the arsenal was becoming more 
hazardous because of the growth of populated areas adjacent to the arsenal. 
New testing grounds in a more sparsely populated locality were sorely 
needed. Experience had demonstrated that this new locality should be 
characterized by climatic and geographic features more favorable to the 

08 1 st Ind, 31 Jan 42, on Ltr, C CWS to TAG, 18 Jan 42, sub: Research Lab for Incendiaries 
at Columbia University, CWS 47 1.6/ 164 Incendiaries. 


testing of various chemical warfare materiel than found in eastern Mary- 
land. 59 

Dugway Proving Ground 

On 3 January 1942 General Porter sent Maj. John R. Burns to Salt 
Lake City to investigate the possibilities of a testing ground in Utah. Major 
Burns, after conferring with the Army's district engineer and the repre- 
sentative of the Federal Grazing Service in Salt Lake City, recommended 
a tract some eighty-five miles southwest of the city, lying partly in the Salt 
Lake Desert and partly in the Dugway Valley. Burns' recommendation met 
with the approval of the OC CWS and the War Department, and a 265,000- 
acre stretch of land was acquired and developed into the CWS Proving 
Ground, Tooele, Utah. 60 On 1 March 1942 the installation was activated 
with Burns, then a lieutenant colonel, in command. From its inception to 
the close of the war Dugway conducted tests on both experimental and fully 
developed munitions. 

Burns, raised to the rank of colonel in August 1942, was succeeded as 
commanding officer at Dugway on 28 November 1944 by Col. Graydon 
C Essman who remained in command until the close of the war. The 
commanding officer at Dugway was responsible for both testing and house- 
keeping functions. To supervise the testing activities he appointed a director 
of operations. 61 Military strength at the post reached its peak in the summer 
of i944 s when there were over one hundred and fifty commissioned officers 
and over a thousand enlisted men on duty. These numbers included over 
one hundred members of the Women's Army Corps (WAC). There were 
few civilian employees at Dugway because of its inaccesibility. 62 

San Jose Project 

The leasing of San Jose Island to the U.S. Government had been pre- 
ceded by considerable reconnaissance of the Caribbean area for a suitable 
site to carry on chemical research under tropical conditions. 63 In the fall 
of 1943 Col. Robert D. McLeod, Jr., and Dr. Carey Croneis of the National 
Defense Research Committee made a thorough search of the territory adjoin- 

59 Ltr, C CWS to TAG, 14 Jan 42, sub: Test Area for CWS, included as Appendix B in 
Bernard Baum, Dugway Proving Ground, 1 Mar 47, Vol. 23 of History of Research and Develop- 
ment in the Chemical Warfare Service (1 Jul 40-31 Sep 45). 

fi0 (i) Executive Order 9053, 6 Feb 42. (2) WD GO 11, 5 Mar 42. 
til Baum, Dugway Proving Ground, pp. 68-69. 
62 Ibid., pp. 52-58. 

i See above, Chapter V. 



ing the Panama Canal Zone for a peninsular site but found none suitable. 
Then by plane they searched the entire coast of Panama. They finally 
decided on San Jose, some sixty miles from the Pacific entrance to the canal, 
because the climate and topography were suitable and the foliage was of 
the desired character. 64 After consulting with the district engineer, Colonel 
McLeod forwarded his recommendations to the Chief, CWS, on 25 October 


General Porter wanted to make doubly sure of the suitability of the 
proposed site, so after reviewing McLeod's suggestions he sent General 
Bullene, whom he had selected to direct the project, to the Panama area. 
Bullene confirmed McLeod's findings, and thereupon the Chief, CWS, 
recommended to the General Staff that the island be acquired. The General 
Staff held up the recommendation pending assurance that the tests would 
not harm the rare animal, plant, or reptile life on the island. After Bullene 
secured a signed statement to that effect from the director of the National 
Museum in Washington, the General Staff gave its approval. 66 

On 9 December 1943, the Chief of Staff directed Lt. Gen. George H. 
Brett, Commanding General, Caribbean Defense Command, to lease San 
Jose Island for the period of the war and one year thereafter. General Brett 
was informed that General Bullene would arrive at the Caribbean Defense 
Command headquarters on n December and the command was to build 
"roads, trails and camp sites" for the San Jose Project. On 16 December, 
General Brett requested the government of Panama to lease the island to 
the government of the United States. To this request the Panamanian 
Government gave ready assent. 67 

Shortly after General Bullene's arrival in Panama, a crew of native 
workmen under the supervision of Mr. Russell Foster, engineer adviser to 

64 Dr. Ivan M. Johnston of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University described San Jose 
as follows: "The forests of San Jose most resemble in important details large areas of forest in 
Burma, Siam, Indo-China, Malaya, the Philippines and Formosa, and the woodland is similar to 
that of the Bonin and Luchu Islands." San Jose Proj Miscellaneous Rpt, Forest Types of San 
Jose Compared With Those of Southwestern Pacific and Southeastern Asia, 8 Dec 44, in Tech 
Lib, ACmlC, Md. 

65 (i) Interv, CmlHO with Col Robert D. McLeod, Jr., 28 Sep 44- (2) Ltr, Col McLeod to 
C CWS, 25 Oct 43, sub: Selection of Site for Tropical Tests. CWS files, Misc Series, Project 
Coordination, 601 (San Jose Project), NA. (3) Col. Robert D. McLeod, Jr., "Forty-five Days 
Under the Southern Cross," Armed Forces Chemical Journal, VIII (1954), No. 5-6. 

fla Bullene interv, 27 Jan 50. 

eT (i) Rad 5834, Marshall to CG CDC, 9 Dec 43. (2) Ltr, CofS CDC to Charge d'Aff aires, 
U.S. Embassy, Panama, 16 Dec 43. AG 470.6—1 (C). (3) Ltr, Minister of Foreign Relations, 
Govt of Panama, to Charge d" Affaires, U.S. Embassy, Panama, 4 Jan 44. CWS 314.7 San Jose 
Project File. 


the Corps of Engineers, landed on the beach at San Jose and began to 
cut a trail inland. Original plans called for the completion of the entire 
testing program within a period of about two months, and construction 
was undertaken with this time limit in mind. It was not long before drastic 
revisions of the time schedule had to be made. General Bullene insisted 
that every precaution be taken against the possible spread of malaria on 
the island, even though this precaution might slow up construction. His 
previous experience in the tropics had impressed upon him the need for 
such measures, and in addition it was well known that an important 
English project had failed because precautions against malaria had not 
been taken. After differences arose between the CWS and the Corps of 
Engineers on the building schedule, Bullene requested that the commanding 
general of the Caribbean Defense Command transfer responsibility for 
all construction to CWS jurisdiction. 68 This was done, and Russell Foster 
was transferred to CWS jurisdiction as an engineer adviser. Under Foster's 
supervision 300 buildings, some 3 miles of 20-foot roadway, 109 miles of 
10-foot roadway, and 14 miles of foot trails were constructed by August 

From the project's inception until early in September 1944, military per- 
sonnel rolls averaged about five hundred officers and enlisted men. 70 As 
the initial phases of the tests were concluded the chemical companies were 
returned to the mainland. 71 By November 1944 there were 43 officers and 
413 enlisted men attached to the San Jose Protect, and a year later, with 
the war over, the number stood at 37 officers and 300 enlisted men. 72 

In addition to Army personnel, representatives from the following 
organizations were stationed at San Jose: U.S. Navy, British Army, Ca- 
nadian Army, Royal Canadian Air Force, and the National Defense Research 
Committee. General Bullene described the project as a united effort of all 
these participants to secure certain technical data which would be useful 
in winning the war. Therefore he insisted that no distinction be made 
between nationals or organizations and directed that men be assigned to 
duties for which they were best qualified. Members of the NDRC, he 

fi8 Bullene Interv, 27 Jan 50. 

^(i) Construction Status Rpt, San Jose Proj, Period Ending 15 Aug 44. CWS 314.7. (2) 
Interv, CmlHO with Russell Foster, 15 Sep 44. 

70 Ltr, CG San Jose Proj to TAG, 5 Sep 44, sub: Medical Pers Requirements, CWS 314.7 San 
Jose Project File. 

"These were the 67th and 68th Chemical Smoke Generator Companies, the 27th Chemical 
Decontamination Company, and the 95 th Chemical Composite Company. 
12 San Jose Proj Manning Tables, CWS 314.7 San Jose Project File. 



ruled, were to occupy the position of commissioned officers and were to 
be accorded the same consideration as officers. 73 

By July 1944 the installation organization consisted of an administration 
director, a technical director, an intelligence officer, an advisory council, 
the adjutant, and the chief of the Army Pictorial Division, Signal Corps, 
which made films of the project. The administration director was respon- 
sible for the quartering, rationing, messing, supply, medical attention, disci- 
pline, and morale services for all persons on the project. The technical 
director, Colonel McLeod, was charged with the direction and supervision 
of all technical tests and the preparation of the reports of tests which 
would be forwarded to the commanding general through the Advisory 
Council. The Advisory Council was a very important element in carrying out 
the mission of the project. It was made up of the executive officer, technical 
director, chiefs of the principal technical divisions, and other designated 
key personnel. The duties of the Advisory Council were to analyze and 
interpret the technical data of the various tests as an aid to the commanding 
general in reaching sound conclusions in his reports to higher authority 
and to prepare such operational instructions for the using arms and services 
as were required. 

In order to insure that the testing at San Jose would not be obstructed 
by administrative difficulties, the Chief, CWS, activated a San Jose Project 
Division in his office on 27 September 1944. 74 Under this arrangement the 
San Jose Project became a branch of the new division. General Bullene was 
made chief of the San Jose Project Division, at the same time retaining 
command at the project. 

Biological Warfare Installations 75 

Mention has been made of the biological warfare installations estab- 
lished in World War II. 76 Camp Detrick, the first and most important of 
those installations, was activated on 17 April 1943 under the command 
of Lt. Col. William S. Bacon. 77 Bacon was succeeded by Cols. Martin B. 

13 San Jose Proj GO 8, 25 Apr 44. 
74 OC CWS Adm O 22, 27 Sep 44. 

"Unless otherwise indicated, this section is based on Rexmond C. Cochrane, History of the 
Chemical Warfare Service in World War II (1 July 1940-15 August 1945), Biological Warfare 
Research in the United State s (November 1947), 2 vols., MS, OCMH. 

" See above JChapter V\l 

77 Ltr, TAG to C CWS, 17 Apr 43, sub: Designation of Camp Detrick, Md. AG 680.1 
(4-7-43) OB-I-SPOPU-M. 


Chittick and Joseph D. Sears. Actual construction of the camp, which came 
to occupy an area of more than five hundred acres, was not completed 
until June 1945. By then a small, self-contained city had been built con- 
taining more than 245 separate structures, including quarters for 5,000 
workers. At the peak of operations in August 1945 there were at Camp 
Detrick 245 Army officers and 1,457 enlisted personnel, 87 Navy officers 
and 475 enlisted men, and 9 civilians, exclusive of civilian consultants. 

By September 1944 the program at Camp Detrick, conducted jointly 
by civilian scientists and employees of the Chemical Warfare Service, the 
Medical Department, and the Navy, included research and development on 
mechanical, chemical, and biological methods of defense against biological 
warfare, production of agents and munitions for retaliatory employment, 
development of manufacturing processes through engineering and pilot 
plant studies, development of safety measures for protecting personnel on 
the post and its surrounding communities, and devising of suitable inspec- 
tion procedures for production plants. 78 Within a year of its activation the 
technical staff had grown to such proportions, and the range of research 
operations was so wide, that it became difficult for key personnel in one 
unit to keep abreast of progress in other units. Consequently, a tendency 
toward duplication of effort developed in some of the laboratories, a prob- 
lem not finally solved until almost the end of the war. 

Horn Island, off the Mississippi coast, was selected as a field test site 
in early 1943, and construction got under way in June. No special struc- 
tures, such as necessary at Camp Detrick, were required on the island aside 
from quarters for the test personnel and technical buildings adjacent to the 
grid area of the test site. The one unusual feature of the installation was 
an eight-mile narrow-gauge railroad which had to be constructed because 
building roads on the sandy island was not practicable. Track, locomotive, 
and wooden cars were shipped from Fort Benning, Georgia, and installed 
by a company of Seabees. 

Administratively, Horn Island was a substation of Camp Detrick from 
its activation until June 1944 when it became a separate installation under 
the jurisdiction of the Special Projects Division, OC CWS. 79 Because of its 

TS Special Projects Div, CWS Organizational Chart, n Sep 44. In Cochrane, History of the 
CWS in WW II, Vol. II. 

7S Memo, AC of Opns, Special Projects Div for CO Camp Detrick and CO Horn Island, 17 
June 44, sub: Administration of Horn Island, cited in Cochrane, History of CWS in WW II, 
Vol. II, 4 A. 



proximity to the mainland, only the most restricted of field tests could be 
made on the island. As the biological warfare program expanded, it became 
obvious that a larger and more remote test area was necessary for the field 
program envisioned. 

The biological warfare installation known as Granite Peak, a 250-square- 
mile area at Tooele, Utah, was activated in June 1944 as the principal 
large-scale test field. Administratively, Granite Peak was a subinstallation of 
Dugway Proving Ground, to which it was adjacent, and many of the 
administrative duties of the post were operated or supervised by the Dugway 
Proving Ground post commander. The biological warfare and chemical 
warfare field installations achieved a high degree of co-operation in their 
test activities. For example, the proving ground detachment flew all airplane 
missions required by Granite Peak operations, and existing Dugway fa- 
cilities provided the meteorological forecasting service required at the 
Peak. 80 Nevertheless, Granite Peak retained full autonomy over all its 
technical operations. Its test operations reached their height in July 1945, 
when 10 Army officers and 97 enlisted men, and 5 Navy officers and 55 
Navy enlisted men were engaged in conducting tests. 

The Vigo Plant, near Terre Haute, Indiana, was an Ordnance Depart- 
ment plant which was turned over to the CWS in May 1944. 81 Its mission 
was the production of agents being developed at Camp Detrick. Vigo was 
considered to be a pilot plant rather than an arsenal, because of the experi- 
mental and highly technical nature of operations that were required before 
it could be proved for its intended purpose and accepted by the chief of 
the Special Projects Division and the Assistant Chief, CWS, for Materiel. 
Proof of the plant was considered to mean operation of all facilities at 
sufficiently high levels and for sufficient lengths of time to demonstrate the 
plant's capacity to perform its mission. 82 As plans for the operation of the 
Vigo Plant were made, it was proposed to limit the scale of operations 
to proving the plant, training personnel, providing end items for surveillance 
and proof testing, and accumulating material in anticipation of military 
requirements. The personnel involved in this operation in July 1945 con- 

80 Memo, O/C GPI for C Special Projects Div, 8 Sep 44, sub: Integration of Granite Peak and 
Dugway Activities, CWS SPCYF 141/1. 

81 Ltr, TAG to C CWS, CofEngrs, and CofOrd, 13 May 44, sub: Redesignation of Vigo Ord 
Plant, AG 322. 

82 Ltr, Special Projects Div to Tech Dir Camp Detrick and CO Vigo Plant, 5 Apr 45, sub: 
Assignment of Responsibility and Authority for Proving the Vigo Plant. CWS SPCYF 400.4. 


sisted of 115 Army officers and 863 enlisted men, 32 Navy officers and 304 
Navy enlisted men, and 65 civilians. 

Organizational developments in the CWS during World War II in- 
cluded the expansion of existing organizational structures, particularly in 
the procurement districts, the activation of new administrative units in all 
installations to carry out functions delegated by the Army Service Forces, 
and the setting up of entirely new organizations such as the Chemical 
Warfare Center, the training center at Camp Sibert, and the new CWS 
laboratories, testing grounds, and biological warfare installations. 

In its administrative no less than in its operational activities, the CWS 
felt the influence of the ASF. But only with regard to the depots was ASF 
influence direct and predominant. ASF headquarters specified that a standard 
organization be established in each depot. In the procurement districts and 
arsenals ASF initiative was never so pronounced. There the CWS generally 
inaugurated and carried to completion all actions of an administrative 
nature. These actions were, of course, subject to ASF approval. 

In contrast to ASF activity at the depots, whose revised organizational 
structures were looked upon approvingly by key personnel in the CWS, the 
ASF decision to put Camp Sibert under the jurisdiction of the commanding 
general of the Fourth Service Command, was not viewed with favor by 
the Chief, CWS. General Somervell, nevertheless, stood by the ASF directive 
to make Sibert a Class I activity of the Fourth Service Command, as noted 
above. General Porter undoubtedly had that situation in mind when in 
September 1944 he set up the San Jose Project Division in his office to 
supervise all activities of the Panama installation. Porter was taking a 
precaution to insure that all responsibility for San Jose would remain under 
CWS control. 


Personnel Management 

The proportion of civilians to military in the Chemical Warfare Service 
was far higher in World War II than in World War I. 1 In November 1918 
there were only 784 civilians in the CWS as compared to 22,198 military, 
a ratio of 3.5 percent. During the peacetime period a marked change took 
place, the number of civilians usually exceeding the military. (See Tables{T~\ 
and[J\) The combined total of civilian and military personnel in the 1920's 
and i93o's was not large, so that personnel management functions pre- 
sented no particular difficulty. As the Chief, CWS, himself phrased it in 
the spring of 1937, 'The personnel duties devolving upon the Chief, Chem- 
ical Warfare Service, are not now onerous." 2 The Personnel Office, OC 
CWS,' was staffed with one officer and one civilian clerk. 

The situation began to change in the emergency period. From 1939 
on there was a rise in both civilian and military personnel rolls, until 
a peak was reached in late 1942 for civilians, and in late 1943 for military. 
The greater increase, as might be expected, took place in the military 
rolls. However, as already mentioned, the proportion of civilians to military 
in World War II was far higher than in World War I. In December 1942 
the number of civilians was 46 percent of the military, in December 1943, 
36.5 percent, and in December 1944, 36 percent of the military. 

Procurement and Assignment of Officers 

In World War I the CWS obtained officers by transfer from other 
branches of the Army and by direct commissioning from civilian life. The 

1 In addition to the documentary sources cited throughout this chapter, information was ob- 
tained through interviews with key officers and civilians engaged in CWS personnel management 
activities in World War II. These included the following: General Porter, Brig. Gen. Henry M. 
Black, Brig. Gen. (later Maj. Gen.) Charles E. Loucks, Col. Herrold Brooks, Col. Charles H. 
McNary, Colonel Kuhn, Lt. Col. James B. Costello, Lt. Col. Evan H. Lewis, Lt. Col. Karl F. 
Erickson, Maj. Floyd Van Domelen, Capt. James Wills, Miss Norma G. Bussink, Mr. Forest C. 
Hall, Mr. Gerald M. Vest, and Dr. Victor G. Clare. 

1 1st Ind, C CWS to TAG, 30 Apr 37, on Ltr, TAG to Chiefs WD Arms and Services, 21 Apr 
37, sub: Pers Matters. CWS 200/1. 



National Defense Act of 1920 set up a quota of one hundred officers, 
in addition to the Chief, for the CWS as the best possible estimate under 
the uncertain conditions which then prevailed. This quota, which in actual 
numbers was not obtained until 1940, was filled mainly by officers who 
had served successfully in the CWS in World War I. The background of 
these officers varied. Some had had scientific training and experience before 
entering the Army while others were military specialists. The CWS had 
a need for both. 

As vacancies arose through attrition during the peacetime years, they 
were filled by details or transfers into the CWS from other arms and 
services, particularly the Coast Artillery Corps. In selecting such replace- 
ments it was the practice of the Chiefs of the CWS to select individuals 
having at least excellent military ratings 3 without special regard to tech- 
nical qualifications. It was scarcely feasible to attempt to recruit scientific 
specialists from other branches of the peacetime Army. It became the policy, 
therefore, to rely on civilian scientists and engineers for developing the 
more technical aspects of the CWS program, under the general direction 
of officers who proved qualified to supervise research and development 
activities. In order to carry out the program more effectively, CWS detailed 
selected officers for two-year courses at the Massachusetts Institute of 
Technology and the University of Wisconsin. 

All CWS officers, including in some instances those who supervised 
research and development work, received a variety of assignments in the 
course of their military careers. They were required to train and command 
troops, to serve as Special Staff officers in the field, to supervise procure- 
ment and supply activities, and on occasion to fill miscellaneous jobs listed 
as War Department overhead. The variety of assignments in the Chemical 
Warfare Service was wider than in most branches of the Army, and some 
otherwise good officers could not adapt themselves to the system. Undoubt- 
edly there was greater need for specialization in officer assignments and 
from the mid-1930's on the CWS followed that policy. By the time of the 
emergency, CWS officers were generally classified as specialists in military 
field assignments, in research, or in procurement and supply. Of course the 
limited activities of the peacetime years restricted the degree of specializa- 
tion. This was particularly true in the realm of procurement. The emergency 
brought to the CWS a desperate need for officers with industrial experience. 
Since Regular officers were not available in sufficient numbers, the CWS 

3 The highest military rating was "superior," which was followed by "excellent." 



met the need by assignment of qualified Reserve officers and by direct com- 
mission of civilians with the necessary qualifications. 

In addition to its relatively few Regular Army officers the CWS had 
a number of Reserve officers, who were generally assigned or attached to 
chemical regiments stationed throughout the country. In 1939 these Reserve 
officers totaled 2,100.* As the need became critical these officers were called 
to active duty. Unfortunately many could not pass the physical examination 
and were eliminated. From 1940 to 1942 the War Department effected 
transfer of Reserve officers from other branches under a procedure whereby 
The Adjutant General's Office circulated to the various arms and services 
the names and qualifications of especially able officers. In this way the CWS 
obtained some seventy officers, ranging in rank from second lieutenant to 
lieutenant colonel. But these sources did not come anywhere near filling 
the requirement for officers in the war period. The extent of the problem 
which the CWS faced in procuring officers may be gauged by a considera- 
tion of the number of officers who came into the service in the war years. 
In late 1943 this figure reached a peak of over eight thousand — in contrast 
to the less than one hundred Regulars of the peacetime years. 

Civilians with proper qualifications provided an important source of 
officer procurement in 1941-42. The Personnel Division of the Chief's 
office and the procurement district offices carried out a program of 
contacting industries where qualified civilians might be available. Pam- 
phlets listing the specifications of CWS officers were compiled and circu- 
lated. In this way numerous civilians were attracted to the Chemical 
Warfare Service and granted direct commissions. 5 

Another source of officer material was the Army Specialist Corps, fos- 
tered by the Army as a means of building up a quasi-military corps of 
scientific, technical and administrative personnel, 6 This corps was activated 
in the spring of 1942. Its members, many of whom had minor physical 

* For details on Reserves, see below, [Chapter VIII J 

8 (i) Ltr, C SFCWPD to C CWS, 22 Apr 42, sub: Policy References Comms. (2) Ltr, C 
Pers Div OC CWS to Andrew P. Monroe, Vice President, NJ. Bell Telephone Co., 28 Apr 42. 
Both in CWS 210.1/421-499. (3) Ltr, C CWS to Hon. Wirt Courtney, House of Representatives, 
21 Sep 42. CWS 210. 1/500. (4) Summary of Staff Mtg, OC CWS, 27 Feb 42. CWS 337. (5) 
Memo, C Pers Div OC CWS for Col Edwin C. Maling, Cml Warfare School, 6 Apr 42. CWS 
210. 3/341-365. 

* The Army Specialist Corrjs was activated under Executive Order 9078, 26 February 1942. 
See WD Bull n, Sec. n, 1942, and WD Army Specialist Corps Regulations (Tentative, 1942, 
G-i, 16545-46, Part III). For a general discussion of the Specialist Corps, see Millett, Army 
Service Forces, p. 101, and Henry P. Seidemann, "Army Specialist Corps," Army Ordnance, XXIII 
(1942), 502-04. 



Ma j. Gen, Dwight F, Davis, Director General of the Army Specialist Corps, 
with Lt. Col. William E. Jeffrey. Both are wearing the ASC uniform, distin- 
guished by buttons and insignia of black plastic. 

defects, wore uniforms similar to those worn by the military, but the corps 
was civilian and not military. The program was discontinued in the fall 
of 1942 because it did not prove practical. During its existence some fifty 
Specialist Corps officers were assigned to the CWS, many of whom were 
integrated into the service as Army officers, upon the corps* deactivation. 

After its establishment at Edgewood in early 1942, the Officer Candidate 
School became the chief source of officers so far as sheer numbers were 
concerned. 7 Graduates of the OCS were commissioned second lieutenants 
and were usually assigned to CWS units. Other assignments of CWS officers 
were to installations, to training centers, and to the Office of the Chief. 

7 For details on the OCS, see below, 

Chapter XIV. 



A good many chemical warfare officers were assigned or attached in the 
zone of interior to the Army Ground Forces, the Army Air Forces, and 
the Army Service Forces. [(Chart ipy* 

The assignment of officers within the CWS was a function of the Office 
of the Chief. General Porter personally assigned the commanding officers 
of installations and members of his own staff, while commanding officers 
of installations were responsible for the selection of their subordinates 
through the Personnel Division, OC CWS. Although the commanding 
officers could not always obtain the officers they wanted, the situation was 
certainly not as bad as some commanders alleged. There developed a 
tendency in one or two installations to explain all administrative deficiencies 
on the ground that it was impossible to obtain the services of qualified 
officers. The evidence does not support this contention. 9 The trouble was 
not so much that qualified officers could not be obtained, although at times 
this problem did exist, but rather that there sometimes was a lack of ap- 
preciation of the potentialities of the officers on hand. 

Promotion, Decorations, and Allotments 

In order to assist the Personnel Division of his office in carrying out 
its functions, General Porter in the summer of 1942 appointed a Promotion 
and Decorations Board composed of the executive officer of his office and 
the chiefs of the Fielid, Industrial, and Technical Services. 10 Following the 
publication of the very important ASF Circular 39, 11 June 1943, the Chief, 
CWS, appointed a second board, known as an Allotment Board, to deal 
with the allotment of civilian and military employees to CWS units and 
installations. This Allotment Board consisted of the executive officer, the 
two assistant chiefs of CWS, the chiefs of the Control and Personnel Di- 
visions, and a recorder from the Personnel Division who had no vote. 11 
On 13 August 1943 the functions of the two boards were consolidated in 
an Allotment, Promotion, Separation, and Decoration Board. 12 

Before the creation of the Promotion and Decorations Board the admin- 
istration of those activities in the CWS left much to be desired. Some 

8 For a detailed breakdown of the distrib ution o f CWS military personnel from December 
1 94 1 to December 1945, see below, Appendixes | A| Bj and|c| 

9 This conclusion is based on interviews with key personnel officers in CWS in World War II 
and on IOM, C Civ Pers Br OC CWS for C Pers Div OC CWS, 16 Feb 45. CWS 230. 

10 OC CWS Off O 36, 8 Jul 42. 

11 OC CWS Off O 46, 29 Jun 43. 

12 OC CWS AdmO 16, 13 Aug 43. 



Chart 10 — Distribution of CWS Military Personnel, 
As of 30 June 1944 


Army Ground Forces 

Army Air Forces 

Army Service Forces 

Overseas Commands 

Officers (in thousands) 


Army Ground Forces 
Army Air Forces 
Army Service Forces 
Overseas Commands 


Enlisted (in thousands) 
20 30 


Personnel under direct command of Chief, CWS 
Source: |Appendix A.| 

commanding officers were more prone than others to recommend promo- 
tions, and personal favoritism was all too often a determining factor. Once 
the board began to function effectively the situation greatly improved. The 
board's jurisdiction in all its functions — allotments, promotions, and decora- 
tions — was service-wide. Allotments of officers, as well as of enlisted men, 



were on the basis of quotas furnished by The Adjutant General's Office, 
which the board would break down to the various elements of the CWS, 
such as installations, Office of the Chief, and training centers. After re- 
ceiving notification of their quotas those elements would forward their 
military personnel requisitions to The Adjutant General through the Mili- 
tary Personnel Branch, OC CWS. The Chemical Warfare Service always 
had the prerogative, which it often exercised, of requesting higher quotas, 
but all such requests had to carry ample justification. 

Malassignment of Officers 

There were two general types of officer malassignment: the assignment 
of officers to duties that were not military functions; and the appointment 
of officers to posts for which they lacked qualifications. The criticisms of 
the CWS by the War Department Assignment Review Board centered 
chiefly around the first type of malassignment. There can be no doubt 
that this contention of the Assignment Review Board was correct. In many 
instances CWS civilians carrying out certain duties were given commissions 
and continued to do exactly the same work as before. The CWS took the 
position that circumstances beyond its control had led to the granting of 
these commissions, that the Civil Service Commission could not furnish 
qualified replacements, and that the only solution to the problem was to 
commission those civilians who were already on the job. Had these officers 
been removed from their posts, the CWS maintained, especially on the 
scale recommended by the review board, the results would have been 

One of the rare instances when the Assignment Review Board questioned 
the qualifications of CWS officers for their assignments was in the case 
of some dozen officers holding key positions on the staff and faculty of 
the Chemical Warfare School in early 1944. The review board took par- 
ticular exception to the lack of experience on the part of these officers. 
Brig. Gen. Alexander Wilson, commandant of the Chemical Warfare 
School, generally agreed with this contention, although he held that the 
situation was not nearly so bad as one might gather from merely screening 
the Officer Qualification Records. 13 General Wilson outlined the history 
of how these officers came to occupy their posts. After the war broke out, 
he said, the number of Regular Army officers with experience in chemical 

13 WD AGO Form 0857. 



warfare training was entirely inadequate and CWS Reserve officers, most 
of whom had had long experience in the field of chemistry, were placed 
in training posts. These officers, through experience, became expert in 
training and administrative duties. As understudies to these officers there 
were a number of other officers, recent college graduates, who had little 
or no practical civilian experience. In time, the older officers were assigned 
to overseas duty, and the only officers available to fill their places were 
the understudies, who, while they lacked civilian experience, had had several 
years of training in their present assignments. 14 The CWS did not find it 
possible to replace those officers. 

Procurement and Utilization of Enlisted Personnel 

Enlisted personnel rolls expanded in approximately the same proportion 
as officer rolls. From a total of 803 enlisted men in June 1939, the number 
rose to 5*591 in December 1941 and to a wartime peak of 61,688 in June 
1943. The year and a half after Pearl Harbor was the period of greatest 
expansion. {See Appendix 5.) 

The majority of enlisted men assigned to the CWS went to the training 
center at Edgewood, which was later moved to Camp Sibert Relatively few 
men were assigned to CWS installations. The Chief, CWS, was responsible 
for the assignment, promotion, and movement of those men in and out of 
the installations and for selecting those who were to attend special schools. 
Enlisted personnel were customarily not retained at the installations for 
long, since the service used them for overseas requisitions that it was con- 
tinuously being called upon to fill. 

Thanks to the Selective Service system, the CWS secured a number of 
unusually well-qualified enlisted men. 15 In June 1941, for example, there 
were thirty-two enlisted men with college degrees in the 1st Laboratory 
Company. Of these, seven had doctor's degrees and three had master's 
degrees. After activation of the Officer Candidate School, men of this 
caliber had opportunity to apply for admission. Many of the men assigned 
to the installations were very well qualified for minor administrative and 
clerical posts. The Chemical Warfare Center, particularly, utilized their 

14 2d Ind, Comdt Cml Warfare School to CG Cml Warfare Center on Ltr, C Pers Div OC CWS 
to CG Cml Warfare Center, n Feb 44, sub: Correct Classification and Assignment of ASF 
Officers and Enlisted Men. CWS 200.3. 

"Robert R. Palmer, Bell I. Wiley, and William R. Keast. The Procurement and Training of 
Ground Combat Troops, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington: 1948), 
pp. 17-18. 



services. When the great demand for men for overseas duty arose in 1943, 
all general service enlisted men were transferred from zone of interior 
installations to field service for eventual shipment overseas. 16 Men with 
varying degrees of physical disability replaced these enlisted men, but this 
move proved generally unsatisfactory. The situation was largely rectified 
when members of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) were 
brought in as substitutes for the male personnel. 

Negro Military Personnel 

There were few Negro troops in the Army in the peacetime period, and 
prior to 1940 the number of Negro units provided for in the Protective 
Mobilization Plan (PMP) was decidedly limited. 17 No provision was made 
for any Negro chemical units. In the summer of 1940 the Assistant Chief 
of Staff, G-3, recommended modification of the PMP in order to provide 
more Negro units. The CWS initially felt the effects of the new policy 
when the 1st Chemical Decontamination Company, constituted as a white 
company in the PMP, was activated on 1 August 1940 at Fort Eustis, Vir- 
ginia, as a Negro unit. 18 

In the summer of 1940 the War Department still had to work out 
many policy details on the employment of Negro troops. These included 
such items as the number of Negro troops to be called for active duty, 
the question of whether to use Negro or white officers with colored units, 
and the problem of what to do about the prevailing practice of segregating 
white and Negro troops. On 8 October 1940 the President approved the 
policy to be followed during the war. 19 Negro strength in the Army was 
to be maintained on the ratio of Negroes to the whites in the country as 
a whole, and Negro organizations were to be established in each major 
branch of the service, combatant as well as noncombatant. The existing War 
Department policy of not intermingling white and Negro enlisted per- 
sonnel was to be continued. Negro Reserve officers eligible for active duty 
were to be assigned to Negro units and opportunity was to be given Negroes 
to attend officer candidate schools. The aviation training of Negroes as 

lfl ASF Cir 39, 11 Jun 43. 

17 Ulysses G. Lee, Employment of Negro Troops, a volume in preparation for the series 
UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II, is a detailed study of Negro troops throughout 
the Army. 

18 WD Ltr, AG 320.2 (7-10-40) M (Ret) M-C, 20 Jul 40. 

n Memo, ASW for the President, 8 Oct 40. The President penciled his "OK" and initials on 
this memo. Cited in Lee, Employment of Negro Troops, Ch. IV. 



pilots, mechanics, and technical specialists was to be accelerated, and at 
arsenals and Army posts Negro civilians were to have equal opportunity 
with whites for employment. 

In conformity with the above policy the Replacement Center at Edge- 
wood opened in 1941 with a capacity of 1,000 trainees — 800 white and 
200 Negro. 20 Negroes were trained in approximately this proportion at 
Edgewood and later at Camp Sibert. Since the percentage of Negro troops 
in Classes IV and V of the Army General Classification Test was much 
higher than that of white troops, the training of Negro troops as a whole 
presented greater difficulties than that of white troops. 21 

From the spring of 1942 until the summer of 1943 seventy-five CWS 
troop units composed of Negroes were activated at various installations 
throughout the country. The seventy-five units consisted of the following: 
12 chemical maintenance companies (aviation), 7 chemical depot com- 
panies (aviation), 1 chemical company (air operations), 20 chemical decon- 
tamination companies, 3 chemical processing companies, 30 chemical smoke 
generator companies, and 2 chemical service companies. Forty-one of those 
companies were eventually assigned to duty overseas. 22 

As indicated by the large number of Negro chemical companies, the 
CWS had a relatively high percentage of Negro troops. As of 30 September 
1943, over 17 percent of CWS enlisted men were Negro. The CWS per- 
centage was exceeded only by those of the Quartermaster Corps, Transpor- 
tation Corps, and Corps of Engineers. 23 

The chemical companies to which Negroes were assigned were, with 
one exception, service rather than combat in nature. The exception was 
the smoke generator company, and even this type of company in the early 
period of the war was considered more service than combat. Plans at that 
time called for the smoking of rear areas only, and the troops were trained 
for that mission. But as the war progressed these companies saw front-line 
action. Since the men were not trained for combat conditions, at first they 
made a poor showing. With experience these units improved tremendously 
and many of them had very good combat records. 

The CWS trained about one hundred Negro officers at the Officer Can- 
didate School. Upon graduation some of these officers were assigned to 

20 See, below, Part Two, for details on training of CWS troops. 

21 Classes IV and V were the two lowest levels of achievement. 

22 The 706th Chemical Maintenance Company (Aviation) was redesignated as 769th Chemical 
Depot Company (Aviation) as of 20 December 1943. 

!3 Lee } Employment of Negro Troops, Ch. XIX. 



chemical units, others were transferred to the Transportation Corps and the 
Air Forces, and those who were surplus were placed temporarily in the 
officers* pool at the Chemical Warfare Center. 

There was one instance of marked unrest among Negro troops in the 
CWS. This outbreak, which occurred at Camp Sibert in July 1943, was 
occasioned by the improper advances of a white civilian clerk toward a 
Negro woman in the post exchange. Although the Negro soldiers showed 
no hostility toward their white officers, they were slow in obeying orders 
to disperse and return to their barracks. Perhaps the flare-up would have 
reached more serious proportions had the Negro troops not received 
assurance that the white clerk would be turned over to the civil authorities. 24 

Women's Army Corps Personnel in the Chemical Warfare Service 

In the summer and early fall of 1942, shortly after President Roosevelt 
signed the bill establishing the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, chemical 
officers, under ASF direction, made a study of possible employment of 
Waacs in the CWS. 25 It was decided that Waacs might be used as replace- 
ments for enlisted men doing housekeeping duties in arsenals, as fill-ins 
for certain types of civil service positions where it was impossible to obtain 
civilians, and perhaps in chemical impregnating companies in the zone of 
the interior. In the course of this study the Personnel Division, OC CWS, 
contacted the WAAC to ascertain what the chances were of securing the 
services of WAAC officers and auxiliaries. The Personnel Division was 
informed that all existing WAAC units had been earmarked for assign- 
ment outside the CWS but that, not withstanding this fact the CWS should 
submit a requisition, which would be filled if at all possible. 26 

On 7 January 1943 the Chief, CWS, sent his first requisition to the 
director of the WAAC for 160 auxiliaries to be made available at Pine 
Bluff Arsenal. 27 The quota requested was not filled at the time because 
there were then not enough Waacs to go around, but early in April the 
first installment was sent to Pine Bluff. Faced with a serious shortage of 
stenographers, typists, bus drivers, and dispatchers — positions for which 

24 Ltr, CG CWS UTC to C CWS, 20 Jul 43. CWS 000.7. 

25 Public Law 554, 15 May 42. For details on the WAAC and its successor, the WAC, see 
Mattie E. Treadwell, The Women's Army Corps, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR 
II (Washington: 1954). The Wacs in CWS are discussed on pages 321-26 of that volume. 

M Memo, Maj Earl L. Shepherd, Pers Div OC CWS, for Col Herrold E. Brooks, C Pers Div 
OC CWS, 17 Nov 42, sub: WAAC CWS 324-5 WAC. 

27 Ltr, C CWS to Dir WAAC (Through Mil Pers Div SOS), 7 Jan 43. CWS 324.5 WAC. 



civilians could not be obtained — this installation used the Waacs to fill those 
vacancies. 28 A misunderstanding soon developed over the fact that the 
Waacs did not always replace enlisted men. The Waacs apparently had 
gone to Pine Bluff believing that such would be the case, although the 
correspondence between the Chief, CWS, and the director of WAAC dis- 
closes that the chief problem at Pine Bluff was the shortage of civilian 
personnel. Whatever the source of the misunderstanding, it became a serious 
morale factor at Pine Bluff Arsenal and led to a number of resignations in 
the summer of 1943 when the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps was inte- 
grated into the new Women's Army Corps, set up as an element of the 
Army by an act of Congress. 29 

Late in April 1943 Dugway Proving Ground became the second CWS 
installation to be assigned a WAAC unit, and in June Camp Detrick and 
the Chemical Warfare Center were assigned quotas of Waacs. Later WAC 
officers were assigned to the Office of the Chief, CWS, and to the Rocky 
Mountain and Huntsville Arsenals. The number of Wacs assigned to the 
CWS during the war totaled about seven hundred. 30 

WAC officers assigned to headquarters usually performed administra- 
tive duties such as those connected with time and payroll, with the motor 
pool, or with the public relations office. Enlisted Wacs assigned to the 
CWS, the vast majority of whom went to CWS installations, were employed 
in a variety of skilled and semiskilled occupations. General Porter sum- 
marized the situation well in a letter to Oveta Culp Hobby, director of 
the WAAC, on 5 July 1943, when he said: 

WAAC enrollees at Chemical Warfare Service installations are engaged in activities 
of wide scope and variety, embracing both skilled and semi-skilled occupations. The 
more specialized personnel are performing the work of chemists, toxicologists, lawyers, 
meteorologists, mechanical engineers, etc. Others with technical training are surgical 
and veterinarian assistants, motion picture projectionists, radio and teletype operators, 
glass blowers, draftsmen and photographers. In addition, of course, your Corps is 
supplying stenographers, typists, mail, code, file, stockroom personnel, and copy clerks; 
court reporters and librarians, 31 

One interesting feature of Waac assignment in the CWS which General 

18 Ltr, CG PBA to C CWS, 9 Jul 43. CWS 324.5 WAC. 

Ltr, C Mil Pcrs Br OC CWS to CO 1st WAAC CWS Hq Det PBA (Through: CG 
PBA) } 19 Aug 43. CWS 324.5 WAC (2) Public Law no, 1 Jul 45. This law provided for the 
changeover from the WAAC to the WAC within sixty days. 

30 TreadwelI, Women's Army Corps, p. 321. 

31 (i) Public Law no, 1 July 1943. (2) Ltr, C CWS to Dir WAAC, 5 Jul 43- CWS 324.5 
WAC, The chief purpose behind General Porter's letter was to congratulate Director Hobby on 
the success of the WAAC project. 



Porter did not mention in his letter to Director Hobby was the employ- 
ment of Waacs in chemical impregnating companies in the zone of the 
interior. As mentioned above, this possibility had been considered in the 
fall of 1942. In April 1943 the CWS conducted an experiment with sixty 
Waacs at Edgewood Arsenal to determine whether they could be used 
on the work of impregnating protective clothes with chemicals. The ex- 
periment proved successful beyond all expectations, and henceforth Waacs 
were assigned to those units, which for semantic reasons were redesignated 
"processing companies." 32 

"Successful beyond all expectations" might be the phrase used to describe 
the reaction in CWS, from General Porter down, to the work of the Wacs. 
Those commanding officers and supervisors who were at first skeptical 
about employing Wacs on certain types of assignments, laboratory tech- 
nicians for example, soon changed their minds once the young women got 
on the job. When in 1945 General Porter said of the Wacs, "We owe them 
a great debt," he was expressing the sentiment of every commanding 
officer and supervisor in the CWS. 33 The attitude of the WAC toward 
the CWS was likewise one of satisfaction. As the CWS WAC staff director, 
Capt. Helen H. Hart, expressed it, WAC personnel were accepted in all 
CWS installations "on an equal and respectful basis by the majority of 
CWS personnel," and this situation, Captain Hart went on to say, "resulted 
in WAC CWS Headquarter Detachments having some of the highest 
morale among all WAC Detachments in the field." 34 

The Expanding Civilian Rolls 

The number of civilian employees in the Chemical Warfare Service 
jumped from about 7,000 at the outbreak of the war to a peak of over 
28,000 in 1 943. 33 The breakdown o f CWS pe rsonnel by designated groups 

as of 31 December 1944 is shown in Table 6. 

32 See Ltr, AC CWS for Fid Opns to G-i (Through: Dir Mil Pers Div ASF), 9 Jun 43, sub: 
Use of WAAC in Cml Impregnating Companies. CWS 324.5 WAC. This letter indicates that as 
of 31 May 1943 the Chief, CWS, requested the Commanding General, ASF, to change the designa- 
tion from "Chemical Impregnating Company" to "Chemical Processing Company." 

33 Quoted in "Here Are the WACS," Chemical Warfare Bulletin, XXXI, No. 2 (1945), 4-1 1. 

34 Ltr, Capt Hart, CWS WAC Staff Dir, to CO HA, 3 May 44, sub: General George C. 
Marshall's Memorandum. AG 320.2 WAC. The CWS WAC staff director sent similar letters to 
the commanders of other installations. General Marshall in a memorandum of 6 April 1944 had 
urged all elements of the Army to realize the dignity and importance of the Wacs, and the CWS 
WAC st aff director was commenting on this memorandum. 

35 See Table 3. 



Table 6 — Actual Strength of Civilian Employees (Filled Positions), 

31 December 1944 

Service and Grade or Other Groups 

Total CWS 


Professional (P-l through P-9) 

Subprofessional (SP-1 through SP-8) 

Clerical, Administrative 

and Fiscal (CAF-1 through 16) 

Crafts, Protective and 

Custodial (CPC-1 through CPC-10) 
Consultants without compensation, 

and $\ per annum or per month 


Professional (P-l through P-6) 

Subprofessional (SP-1 through SP-5) 

Clerical, Administrative 

and Fiscal (CAF-2 through CAF-14) 
Crafts, Protective and 

Custodial (CPC-3 and CPC-4) 


Consultants and Experts 

* Includes 3 without compensations or at $1 per annum or $1 per month. 
Source: CWS 230. 

One of the earliest personnel requirements in the CWS in the emergency 
period was for trained inspectors. The need first arose out of the educa- 
tional order program under which two hundred gas-mask inspectors were 
trained at Edgewood Arsenal before being sent out to perform their duties 
at the gas-mask plants in the procurement districts. 36 Later, in the summer 
and fall of 1940, the procurement district offices began hiring inspectors 
in connection with the procurement contracts they were awarding. These 
inspectors were sent to Edgewood Arsenal for training before assuming 
their responsibilities. After they had obtained experience on the job, these 
inspectors in turn retained newly hired apprentices. 37 

Another significant training project undertaken by the CWS in the fall 
of 1939 was the apprenticeship program. The project arose from efforts 

39 Ltr, CG EA to C CWS, 3 Dec 40, sub: Education Order Pers. CWS Files 230/681 (1939- 
42) Series, NA. 

For details on the tra ining of inspectors in World War II, see Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, 

From Laboratory to Field. 



of the Assistant Secretary of War. In a letter of 13 September 1939 to the 
chiefs of all the arms and services the Assistant Secretary called attention 
to the problem of procuring an adequate supply of skilled labor for pro- 
ducing munitions. Even though there were great numbers of unemployed, 
he stated realistically, a full use of all the skilled men then idle would 
still leave a large deficit for meeting the war needs. As a solution he 
proposed the use of apprenticeship programs and urged the supply arms 
and services, in their field contacts with industry, to "foster and encourage 
apprenticeship training by relating such training to the needs of national 
defense.*' 38 The Office of the Chief, CWS, sent copies of this letter to 
all CWS procurement districts with instructions that they be guided by 
its contents. 39 

The CWS worked on plans for an apprenticeship training program at 
Edgewood Arsenal from late 1939 on, but it was not until January 1942 
that such a program was actually launched. 40 At that time one hundred 
apprentices began courses in various crafts. Of that number only two even- 
tually completed their training. The reason for this was not lack of ability 
or enterprise on the part of the young men, but rather the fact that almost 
to a man they were inducted into the armed services under the Selective 
Service Act. The one apprentice not inducted did finish his training. Another 
who returned to Edgewood as a regular employee after the war also finished 
his apprenticeship. On the basis of the record, the apprenticeship training 
program at Edgewood was anything but a success, especially in view of the 
fact that some of those apprentices had spent two years studying their 
crafts. 41 

As serious as the problem of obtaining suitable employees at Edgewood 
was the problem of retaining them once they had been hired. The chief 
source of difficulty was the wage rate system of the War Department. For 
a number of years the War Department had made efforts to keep the wage 
rates of its employees in line with localities where its installations were 

38 Ltr, Col Harry K. Rutherford, Ord Deputy Dir OASW, to Chiefs Supply Arms and Servs, 
13 Sep 39, sub: Encouragement of Apprenticeship Tng. CWS 230/471—480. 

39 Ltr, Maj George F. Unmacht, Asst Ex O OC CWS, to All Cml Warfare Proc Districts, 20 
Sep 39, sub: Encouragement of Apprenticeship Tng. CWS 230/471-480. 

4h (i) Ltr, ASW to C CWS, and 1st Ind, 26 Dec 39, sub: Apprentice Tng. CWS 230/471-480. 
(2) Memo, C CWS for CofS, 28 May 40, sub: Tng of Skilled and Semiskilled Workers. CWS 

41 After the war a number of these men returned to Edgewood hoping to complete the training 
they had started, but unfortunately, except for the cases just cited, there was no opportunity for 
them to be taken back since the government no longer needed apprentices. 



situated through the appointment of boards to survey wages. Such surveys 
had been made in Edgewood in April 1925, August 1929, and November 
1939. 42 But the surveys could not keep up with rising wages in industry, 
and by the spring of 1940 the rates were again out of line. The CWS began 
to encounter the problem after its construction program got under way in 
the fall of 1940. Skilled and semiskilled workers began leaving government 
employ to work for private construction companies on the post, whose wage 
rates were about 50 percent higher than the government's. Later the same 
thing happened at Huntsville and Pine Bluff Arsenals. 

Not only was the CWS losing employees to industry because of wage 
rates. It was also losing them to other nearby government installations. 
For, surprisingly, there was no uniform wage rate system throughout 
neighboring government installations, and employees were leaving Edge- 
wood to accept higher rates of pay for the same type work at the naval 
installation at Bainbridge, Maryland, and at the Aberdeen Proving 
Ground. 43 

In the summer of 1941 the Personnel Division, OC CWS, requested 
the U.S. Employment Service (USES) to survey the situation at Edgewood. 
The USES readily complied and set up a wage scale of unclassified posi- 
tions. This system did not prove satisfactory chiefly because the CWS 
did not have enough people trained to administer it. In the fall of 1941 
the commanding officers at Edgewood and other CWS installations re- 
quested and received permission to raise the wages of their civilian em- 
ployees. This they did by raising the grades of the laboring, craft, and 
mechanical positions (so-called upgraded), a procedure which led to trouble 
later on. What they should have done was to adjust the wage rates for 
all positions, white collar and ungraded, to conform to the percentage rise 
in general wage rates in the area. The grades of the jobs represented relative 
differences in skill levels, and by raising the grades for some jobs and not 
for others due recognition was not given to skill differentials. Since each 
installation was given authority to make its own grade adjustments, the 
entire wage structure soon became illogical and unworkable. 

Late in December 1941 the Chief, CWS, in an effort to disentangle 
the wage rate situation, requested the director of personnel of the War 

"Ltr, C Pers Div OC CWS to CG ASF (Attn: Ind Pers Div), 6 Jun 45, sub: Wage Fixing 
Procedures Prior to 28 Mar 34. CWS 248. 

43 (i) Ltr, CO EA to C CWS, 25 Apr 39, sub: Draftsmen at EA. CWS 230/431-470. (2) 
Interv, CmlHO with Col Henry M. Black, 8 Aug 50. 



Department to appoint a specialist in wage administration to the CWS. 44 
This request was given favorable consideration. A civilian wage specialist, 
Floyd Van Domelen, was commissioned in the CWS and assigned to the 
Personnel Division of the Chiefs office in May 1942. He set to work imme- 
diately to draw up a wage rate plan, a task he completed by August 1942. 
The CWS was about to put the plan into operation when the ASF issued 
a directive to set up a wage administration system throughout its entire 
organization. In compliance, the CWS refrained from putting its own plan 
into operation and participated instead in the over-all ASF plan. 

The ASF wage administration plan called for the activation of a Wage 
Administration Agency whose authority included setting wages for the 
laboring, craft, and mechanical employees in the field installations. 45 This 
agency was set up, and under its direction the CWS established alignments 
called ladder diagrams in each of its installations. These ladder diagrams 
set up the positions which were not subject to the Classification Act of 1923, 
as amended — laboring, craft, and mechanical positions — in accordance with 
the difficulty and responsibility of each job. The Wage Administration 
Agency then surveyed the wage rates in industrial establishments in the 
vicinity of each installation to determine the prevailing rate for each par- 
ticular type of position and the resulting wage schedule was applied to 
the installation. The Wage Administration Agency collected its data on 
local wage rates through locality wage survey boards which it set up in 
the service commands. Representation on these boards was not confined 
to a single arm or service, but various appropriate elements of the ASF 
were represented. For example, the Locality Wage Survey Board which was 
activated at Aberdeen Proving Ground in the fall of 1942 under the 
commanding general of the Third Service Command had a CWS repre- 
sentative from Edgewood Arsenal. 46 In the opinion of perhaps the most 
competent authority on wage administration in CWS, the ASF methods 
of handling the wage problem were far superior to previous methods. 47 
Once the new system began to function, other arms and services were no 
longer able to outbid the CWS for employees. The Navy still could, of 
course; over- all reform had to wait until a later day. 

44 Memo, C CWS for Dir Pers WD, 30 Dec 41. CWS 230/1436. The Chief, CWS, in this 
memorandum requested that Mr. Floyd Van Domelen be assigned to CWS. The request for Van 
Domelen was honored. 

45 Ltr, C Civ Pers Br APG to C CWS, 23 Nov 42, sub: Establishment of Wage Survey Bd. 
CWS 334- 

47 Interv, Cml HO with Floyd Van Domelen, 24 Oct 50. 



Administration From Washington 

The activities of the emergency period led to an increase in the number 
of employees in the Chief's office. About a dozen civilians were added to 
the rolls as a result of the educational order program. Several of these were 
engineers and the remainder were clerk-stenographers. 48 During 1940 and 

1 94 1 the number of new employees continued to increase, so that by the 
time war was declared there were over 250 civilian employees in the over- 
crowded CWS headquarters offices in Washington. Included were employees 
with specialist, professional, and clerk-stenographer ratings. During the 
war this number was to be multiplied several times. In November 1942 the 
figure reached a wartime peak of 675 civilian employees. From then until 
the close of the war there was a progressive decline in numbers. {See 
Table 3.) I 

The advent of war brought about a revolutionary change in the func- 
tions and responsibility of the CWS in regard to personnel administration. 
Before Pearl Harbor the War Department procured, appointed, classified, 
and promoted all civilians. The only function left for the CWS was assign- 
ment. This procedure was too time-consuming and unwieldy for wartime. 
A week after the December attack, General Porter requested the Secretary 
of War to grant him authority to handle all civilian personnel functions 
in the CWS. 49 The Secretary of War answered this request, and perhaps 
others like it, with the issuance on 23 December 1941 of War Department 
orders authorizing decentralization of personnel administration to bureau, 
arm, and service levels. As a result of this and its other orders throughout 

1942 and 1943, the War Department effected gradual decentralization to 
the field installation level. 50 

The decentralization of personnel administration from the War Depart- 
ment to the Chemical Warfare Service necessarily brought about a consid- 
erable increase in the responsibilities of the chief of the Personnel Division 
of General Porter's office. This post was occupied from 1938 until Sep- 
tember 1942 by Col. Geoffrey Marshall. Colonel Marshall was succeeded 
by Col. Herrold E. Brooks who remained chief throughout the war. In 

48 (i) Memo, Ex O OC CWS for Adm Div OC CWS, 24 May 39. CWS 230/475. (2) Ltr, 
C CWS to ASW, 18 Oct 39, sub: Pers Whose Salaries Are Paid From Funds Allotted to the ASW. 
CWS 230/471-480. 

49 Memo, C CWS for SW, 15 Dec 41, sub: Delegation of Authority. CWS 230/436. 
M WD Orders N, 23 Dec 41; WD Orders G, 1 Jun 42: WD Orders M, 13 Aug 42; WD 
Orders C, 29 Jan 43 ; WD Orders J, 3 Jun 43. 



contrast to the situation in 1937, when the unit administering personnel 
activities in the Chief's office consisted of one officer, whose time was 
"considerably occupied on other than personnel work," and one clerk, there 
were in August 1944 nine officers and thirty-six civilians on duty with the 
Personnel Division of the Chiefs office. 51 From 23 December 1941 until 
1 September 1942 the Personnel Division of the Chief's office was respon- 
sible for administration of civilian activities in the OC CWS, as well as 
for prescribing regulations for the administration of civilians in the field 
installations. On 1 September 1942, under War Department orders, the 
commanding officers of the field installations assumed authority to make 
appointments and to carry out practically all other personnel functions. 52 
From that time until the end of the war, the Personnel Division, OC CWS, 
acted merely as a staff agency with regard to the personnel administration 
and activities of the installations. 

The administration of personnel functions in the Office of the Chief 
was handicapped in the early period of the war by a dearth of officers 
trained in personnel management. Since few officers with this training 
were available, it was necessary for officers on duty to learn through experi- 
ence. Consequently it was difficult for the division to carry out all the 
recognized activities of a large industrial personnel organization. As the 
officers in the Personnel Division gained experience, the situation improved. 

Recruitment of Civilian Personnel in the Office 
of the Chief of Chemical Warfare Service 

It is ironic that when the CWS was occupying inadequate headquarters 
in the city of Washington in the early period of the war it could have 
secured all the personnel it needed, but that when the headquarters was 
moved to more spacious quarters at Gravelly Point, Virginia, in January 
1943, it was impossible to secure a sufficient number of employees. The 
Gravelly Point location was chiefly responsible for this predicament. Em- 
ployees living in Washington had to pay two fares — one on the bus within 
the city and the other on the bus between Washington and Gravelly Point 
— and on the average it took an hour to get to work. The shortage of 
personnel in the Chief's office was not overcome until employees were able 

51 (i) Ltr, TAG to Chiefs WD Arms and Services, 21 Apr 37, sub: Pers Matters. CWS 200/1. 
(2) Ltr, DC CWS to Dir Pers ASF, 17 Aug 44, sub: Justification for Pers Utilization. CWS 230. 

B2 (i) WD Orders N, 23 Dec 41; WD Orders M, 13 Aug 42. (2) OC CWS Organization 
Chart, 1 May 42. 



to make car pool arrangements and until a number of civilians residing on 
the Virginia side of the Potomac were brought into the office. 

After outbreak of war, the War Department received permission from 
the Civil Service Commission to recruit employees from a central pool 
in Washington. The Chief's office obtained its workers from this source 
until the pool was discontinued in January 1943. For several months there- 
after OC CWS recruited employees on its own. Workers already on the 
job were urged to contact any of their acquaintances who might be likely 
prospects. Various CWS installations were combed for any surplus stenog- 
raphers and typists. Later in 1943 the ASF set up another pool, or recruiting 
service, which it called the Pre-Assignment Development Unit. This agency 
remained active until the close of the war. 

The CWS had considerable difficulty in obtaining qualified accountants, 
fiscal experts, and statisticians through the Civil Service Commission, both 
for the Chief's office and the installations. The need was met in part by 
dollar-a-year men and by experts from private industry who were loaned 
to the CWS. 53 

Training of Civilian Employees in the Office 
of the Chief of Chemical Warfare Service 

As early as 10 July 1941 the Secretary of War called the attention of 
the chiefs of War Department bureaus, arms, and services to the importance 
of training civilian employees. 54 Soon after Pearl Harbor a training program 
got under way in the Chemical Warfare Service. 55 Training in the Chief's 
office consisted in the main of elementary and advanced instruction in 
stenography and typing, in the operation of machine records and automatic 
punch machines, and in interoffice correspondence routing and distribution. 56 

Employee Relations 

Employee relations, which included counseling and personal services, 
had been traditionally carried on in the CWS in connection with other 

65 Interv, CmlHO with Col Harry A. Kuhn, USA (Ret.), 13 Oct 50. 

"Memo, SW for Chiefs WD Bureaus, Arms, and Services, 10 Jul 41. CWS 3*4-7 Training 

03 See below, [pages 173-76] for details of training in the CWS installations. 
M Memo, C Pers Div OC CWS for C Pers Div ASF, 8 Sep 43, sub: Clerical and Stenographic 
Tng Course, CWS 353. 



personnel activities, such as assignments, wage rates, and efficiency reports. 
Since the personnel offices supervised these functions, they felt that they 
should also deal with any problems arising in connection with the functions. 

The theory that separate employee relations units were needed to carry 
on civilian personnel counseling originated in the ASF. In conformity with 
an ASF directive to appoint an employee counselor, General Porter brought 
Miss Dorothy A, Whipple, who had had experience counseling school 
teachers in the Detroit City school system, into his office in September 
1942. Miss Whipple headed an Employee Relations Section in the Personnel 
Division until the reorganization of the Chief's office in 1943. As a result 
of that reorganization the Employee Relations Section was raised to the 
status of an executive branch, where it remained for the duration of the 
war. 57 

The separation of employee relations functions from other personnel 
functions did not make for improved administration. In many instances 
the Employee Relations Section had to consult with the Civilian Personnel 
Branch before any type of action could be taken or recommended. This was 
necessary because of the technical nature of the problems arising, such as 
job classification matters, and because the Civilian Personnel Branch had 
the complete personnel record of the employee in its files. It was a mistake 
to have attempted the separation of the functions. 

Installation Management of Civilian Personnel 
The Edgewood Arsenal employed more civilians than any other CWS 

installation. {Table 7) The difficulty which Edgewood experienced in the 
emergency period and in the first year of the war in obtaining and retaining 
civilian workers has already been mentioned. The differences in wage rates 
between the Chemical Warfare Center and other nearby installations, it 
will be recalled, was largely overcome as a result of the work of the 
Locality Wage Survey Board in the fall of 1942. These results did not 
come overnight, however, and in early 1943 the situation was still considered 
so critical that Brig. Gen. Paul X. English, chief of the Industrial Division, 
OC CWS, proposed that Edgewood Arsenal utilize military as well as 
civilian employees in its plant operations. 58 The chief of arsenal operations 

67 (i) Memo, Ex O OC CWS for file, 22 Sep 42, (2) Memo, C Pers Div OC CWS To All 
Concerned, 6 Oct 42. Both in CWS 230.6. (3) Employee Relations Monthly Rpt, 1 Jun-i Jul 43. 
CWS 200.6. 

M Ltr, C Civ Pers Div OC CWS to CG, Cml Warfare Center, 24 Jan 43, sub: Manpower at 
EA, Md. CWS 230. 



Table 7 — Peak Civilian Personnel Figures at Principal CWS Installa- 
tions During World War II 


Peak figure 




Pine BlufiF 

Rocky Mountain 

Procurement Districts 





New York 


San Francisco 




Midwest-Pine Bluff 




Biological Warfare Installations 

Camp Detrick 

Vigo Plant 

Granite Peak 

Horn Island 

Other CWS Installations 
Dugway Proving Ground 








Sourct: Extracted from Station Files in custody of Mr. Michael D. Wertheimer, O Civ Pers, OACofS, G-l, DA. 

at the Chemical Warfare Center, Col. Henry M. Black, contended that it 
would not be feasible to employ military and civilian workers in the same 
plant, chiefly because the military would become dissatisfied with working 
for what they would consider a lower rate of pay, and that the prospects 
of obtaining a sufficient number of the military to operate the plants 
seemed remote. 59 

09 Black interv, 8 Aug 50. 



The problem was referred to James P. Mitchell, chief of the Civilian 
Personnel Division, ASF, who decided against the utilization of military 
personnel at the manufacturing plants at Edgewood. 60 He believed that the 
civilian manpower situation at the Chemical Warfare Center could be im- 
proved by co-operative action between the ASF and the CWS. Toward that 
end Mr. Mitchell himself took the following specific steps: (i) he arranged 
with the Transportation Corps to make four additional buses available 
for service between Baltimore and Edgewood; (2) he detailed to the 
Baltimore area an ASF labor supply officer, who was to give every possible 
assistance to CWS; and (3) he directed the Civilian Personnel Division, 
ASF, to investigate the possibility of raising wage rates at the Arsenal 
Operations Department on the ground that it was a hazardous manufac- 
turing unit. At the same time Mr. Mitchell requested the CWS to carry 
out the following procedures: (1) detail an officer or a civilian or both 
from the Chemical Warfare Center to the Baltimore office of the U.S. 
Employment Service with authority to interview the referrals who would 
be given priority, and hire those qualified; (2) keep a day-by-day record 
of the number of referrals, number interviewed, number employed, number 
rejected, and reasons for rejection; (3) maintain a daily list of new em- 
ployees reporting for work and the number of separations with the reasons 
for separations; and (4) maintain a close check on the transportation 
system between Baltimore and Edgewood. 61 

Implementation of Mr. Mitchell's suggestions brought a definite im- 
provement in the manpower situation at Edgewood. But the Chemical War- 
fare Center had to take an additional step before it solved its labor diffi- 
culties. Never able to obtain enough male employees the installation began 
hiring women in growing numbers. By January 1944, 40 percent of the 
employees of the arsenal operations were female. At that time approximately 
45 percent of all employees were Negroes. 62 The same general pattern was 
characteristic of the other two CWS arsenals which were situated in the 
South, namely, Huntsville and Pine Bluff, both with a large percentage of 
Negro employees and female workers. Rocky Mountain Arsenal had a large 

60 (i) Mr. Mitchell later became Secretary of Labor. (2) For details on manpower problems 
at the War Department level, see Byron Fairchild and Jonathan P. Grossman, The Army and 
Industrial Manpower, a volume in preparation for the series UNITED STATES ARMY IN 

61 See |Note ^ above. 

61 Rpt oi the CWS Pers Utilization Bd appointed by SO 20, OC CWS, 24 Jan 44. CWS 314.7 
Pers File. 



Women at Pine Bluff Arsenal assembling M50 incendiary bombs. 

number of women employees but comparatively few of its workers were 

Arsenal employees were divided into the following broad categories: 
common labor, semiskilled mechanics, skilled mechanics, machine operators, 
maintenance and construction workers, chemical and mechanical engineers, 
production supervisors, and personnel for administrative duties such as 
accounting and plant protection. So far as sheer numbers went, recruitment 
of civilians at the Huntsville and Pine Bluff Arsenals was not nearly as 
difficult as at Edgewood. Both arsenals were located in predominately 
agricultural areas and had access to pools of seasonal labor. Workers were 
available in great numbers during the agricultural off-season periods but 
were more difficult to obtain at other periods. The Civil Service regional 
offices, the U.S. Employment Service, and the War Manpower Commission 
co-operated in recruiting civilian personnel for the arsenals. 

At times when the manpower situation was stringent, those agencies 



assisted the arsenals in conducting recruiting campaigns. Advertisements 
were run in local papers, and employees were urged to hand out printed 
leaflets to their relatives and friends on the need for workers. A spectacular 
touch was added when airplanes dropped handbills about this need over 
the adjoining countryside. Recruitment of workers, in other respects, was 
not lacking in the elements of human interest. There was, for example, 
the incident at Huntsville Arsenal when, in the spring of 1943, the presi- 
dent of a college for Negro girls in Georgia stepped into the office of 
the commanding officer and offered the services of approximately one 
hundred young women in the graduating class. The offer was gratefully 
accepted. The young women from Atlanta University came to the arsenal 
fully aware of the rather distasteful nature of some of the work, but they 
did a job, which in the opinion of one qualified to judge, could hardly 
have been surpassed. 03 

Alabama and Arkansas agricultural workers, the most common type 
of employees readily available to the Huntsville and Pine Bluff Arsenals, 
were almost entirely unskilled laborers. Although their native intelligence 
was undoubtedly equal to that of any similar group in the United States, 
they were decidedly limited in educational background. A great many, 
particularly among the Negroes, could not read or write, and this made 
for difficulties in training them for semiskilled occupations. It was impos- 
sible, because of time restrictions, to attempt training for skilled occupations. 
Skilled workers, technicians, and typists had to be obtained from other areas, 
generally from localities considerably distant from the arsenals. 

The differences in the wage scales between local industry and the gov- 
ernment, such as existed at Edgewood, were not a problem at Pine Bluff 
and Huntsville Arsenals. The agricultural workers who went to work at 
Pine Bluff and Huntsville had never before done factory work and were 
completely unaccustomed to the comparatively high rates paid by the 
arsenals. A number of the Negro women who were hired had previously 
been engaged as domestics at a rate very far below that of the arsenals. 
Most of these workers had never experienced such prosperity, a fact which 
was not, as far as the war effort went, an unmixed blessing. In far too many 
instances, employees would not work any more days in a pay period than 
necessary for mere existence. 

63 (i) Interv, CmlHO with L. Wilson Greene, 27 Oct 49. Greene was in charge of manu- 
facturing activities at Huntsville in World War II. (2) In the plants where these women were 
assigned to work there was usually a high concentration of tear gas, which made for physical 



Rocky Mountain Arsenal had access to a comparatively high number 
of skilled male workers, but to relatively few unskilled or semiskilled. For 
many years before the war, Denver was noted as a center for small-scale 
skilled industries. The advent of the emergency attracted a number of these 
skilled mechanics and technicians to the airplane and shipping industries 
on the west coast. Others remained at home, even though they were not 
able to carry on their trades because of shortages of raw material. Many of 
these skilled workers were willing to take employment only if it offered 
wages commensurate with the rates to which they had been accustomed. 
But they would not accept assignments as semiskilled workers, and con- 
sequently the arsenal had some difficulty in securing that type of labor. 64 
Unskilled women workers, as already indicated, were plentiful and the 
arsenal experienced no difficulty in filling labor requirements in that group. 
From late 1943 on, prisoners of war (POW's) were used at Rocky Moun- 
tain, except in the plants area. 65 

In 1942, in an effort to secure semiskilled workers, the commanding 
general of Rocky Mountain Arsenal set up schools in Denver and the 
surrounding towns. Shortly after the arsenal was activated, a number of 
semiskilled workers were obtained from an unexpected source. The com- 
manding general learned that sugar mill workers in the vicinity of Brighton, 
Colorado, had skills very similar to those required by chemical plant opera- 
tors. General Loucks, commanding general of Rocky Mountain Arsenal, 
sent the chief of the Personnel Branch and his assistant to interview these 
workers. The two administrators found that they were usually occupied in 
their trade for a few months of the year and were very glad to go to work 
at Rocky Mountain Arsenal provided they were released for mill work 
from October to December. The arsenal readily agreed to this stipulation 
and the sugar mill workers were brought to the arsenal. 

The centralization of personnel functions at the Chemical Warfare 
Center has already been referred to. 66 Huntsville Arsenal also experienced 
the need for a centralized personnel organization, for at that installation, 
where all activities were highly decentralized, personnel functions were no 
exception to the rule. Each operating division at the arsenal had its bwn 
personnel officers who were invariably officers of company grade subject 
to the command of the respective division chiefs. Although there was a 
personnel division at headquarters, it was lacking in effective authority. 

fl * Van Domelen Interv, 24 Oct 50. 

M History of Rocky Mounta in Arsenal, II, 404^05, MS. 

06 See above, Chapter VI. 



In the spring of 1944 an audit team from the Office of the Secretary 
of War visited Huntsville and found defects in the methods of wage admin- 
istration employed at the arsenal. This discovery led to a survey by the 
Personnel Division, OC CWS, which resulted in a number of suggestions 
not only on wage administration but also on the centralization of civilian 
personnel functions, the substitution of civilians for military as personnel 
officers, and the training of operating officials in sound personnel practices. 
From July to December 1944 those measures were largely carried out at 
Huntsville and resulted in a marked improvement in personnel adminis- 
tration. 67 

At Pine Bluff and Rocky Mountain Arsenals the administration of 
civilian personnel functions was centralized almost from the start. At Pine 
Bluff the chief of the civilian personnel unit reported to the chief of the 
Administration Division of the Arsenal Operations Office, and at Rocky 
Mountain to the commanding general. 

The Depots 

Graded civilian employees at the depots, as at the arsenals and other 
CWS installations, were selected in accordance with civil service qualifica- 
tion standards and Classification Act salary schedules. Ungraded employees 
were hired on the basis of job descriptions, designations, and wage schedules 
approved by the Civilian Personnel Branch of the Chief's office. 

Three of the CWS depots, Eastern, Midwest, and Gulf, were closely 
associated with Edgewood, Pine Bluff, and Huntsville Arsenals, respec- 
tively, and were faced with identical problems of personnel procurement. 
The outstanding need at depots, as at arsenals, was for skilled labor. 
Skilled workers were just not available, and it was necessary to train ap- 
prentices on the jobs. It took some time before a satisfactory staff of 
foremen was functioning at most of the depots. As at arsenals, many women 
were hired and trained to do jobs formerly handled by men, and many 
Negro workers were also brought in. 

At the three remaining CWS depots, Indianapolis, Northeast, and 
Deseret, the procurement of workers, unskilled as well as skilled, was 
beset with difficulties. The Northeast Depot, in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls 

87 (i) Memo, C Civ Pers Br OC CWS for C Pers Div OC CWS, 25 May 4 4> sub: Rpt of Trip 
to HA, Ala. (2) Inspection of Civ Pers Administration, HA by Civ Pers Div, OSW, 23 Dec 44. 
Both in CWS 230. 



vicinity, was in a labor area that was critical throughout the whole period 
of the war. At the time the depot was activated, the 190th Chemical Depot 
Company was brought from Edgewood for extended field training. This 
company remained for a little over a month, during which it rendered 
invaluable assistance in carrying out operations at the depot. The 190th 
Chemical Depot Company was replaced for a short time by troops of the 
71st Chemical Company (Smoke Generator), but in September 1944 the 
71st received change of station orders. Then, in the fall of 1944, the depot 
secured from the commanding general of the Second Service Command an 
allotment of fifty enlisted men who had returned from overseas. This experi- 
ment, unfortunately, did not prove satisfactory because of the caliber of 
men allotted, and very shortly the entire detachment was withdrawn. 68 

Although never able to obtain all the civilians it needed, the depot did 
secure the services of a corps of loyal and efficient workers from the fol- 
lowing sources: (1) employees of the Lake Ontario Ordnance Works who 
stayed on the job after CWS took over the installation; (2) local resi- 
dents; (3) seasonal employees such as school teachers and farmers; and 
(4) relatives of employees solicited through personal appeal. 

The Indianapolis Depot was situated in an area dotted by defense plants 
which absorbed most of the available labor supply; in addition, two other 
armed forces depots in the vicinity competed with the CWS depot in pro- 
curing civilian employees. One of these was an Ordnance Department depot 
and the other an Army Air Forces depot. The CWS Indianapolis Depot 
managed, notwithstanding, to hire and train a number of civilians. In 
January 1945 prisoners of war provided a new source of labor. 09 

If the manpower situation at Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Indianapolis 
was bad, it was much worse at the Deseret Depot in the remote reaches 
of Utah. There the labor supply was practically nonexistent, and an unusual 
recruitment program had to be initiated in the fall of 1943 by Lt. Col. 
William S. Bacon, the commanding officer. Bacon, who had had consid- 
erable experience with laborers of Mexican and Spanish ancestry, obtained 
permission to recruit outside the state of Utah and arranged for setting up 
recruiting offices in New Mexico. Experience had taught him that it was 
useless to attempt to employ these workers without making provisions for 
their families. He therefore provided for the transfer of as many married 
couples and children as the housing facilities at Deseret would permit. But 

ns History of the Northeast Chemical Warfare Depot, June 1944-August 1945, p. 32, MS. 
69 For a discussion on the use of POW's, see below, [pages 181-82"] 



that was only the beginning of his project. He next had to make certain 
that they would remain on the job after they arrived at that isolated post. 
In other words, he had to provide the newcomers with the necessary shop- 
ping and recreational facilities. Under Colonel Bacon's direction, a grocery 
store, drug store, notion shop, restaurants, bars, and dance halls were 
erected. All profits accruing from these enterprises poured back into the 
general welfare fund. With so little in the vicinity to attract them, few 
of the workers had any desire to go outside the camp and thus their services 
were available day or night in the event of an emergency. 70 The entire 
project of recruiting and transporting these workers from New Mexico to 
Deseret was a unique and farsighted undertaking. 

These workers, almost without exception unskilled, were the main source 
of labor at Deseret. A small number of other workers from Tooele and 
Salt Lake City came to work at the depot each day, after provision had 
been made with a public service company for their transportation. 

There was no standard organization for administering personnel activi- 
ties in the depots. Certain depots had no personnel units. The personnel 
activities of the Gulf Depot, for example, were administered by Huntsville 
Arsenal. The Eastern Depot had a personnel division until September 1942, 
when its functions were taken over by the personnel division of the Chemical 
Warfare Center. The other CWS depots each had personnel units. 

The CWS sections of general depots were under the central adminis- 
tration of these depots, and therefore there were no separate personnel 
units at these sections. Their personnel allotments were based on the over-all 
allotments of the depots. 

The Procurement Districts 

The personnel requirements of the procurement districts included the 
following general categories: (1) chemists and engineers for chemical 
analyses and production methods; (2) clerical, administrative, and fiscal 
personnel; (3) inspectors; and (4) warehouse employees. 

In recruiting employees, the procurement districts generally possessed 
certain advantages over the other types of CWS installations. All of the 
district offices, and even the suboffices, were located in large cities where a 
sizable pool of professional, skilled, and clerical labor was available. A 
great many of the district employees lived within easy commuting distance 

70 (i) Ltr, Col Bacon to CmlHO, 21 Jul 50. (2) History of Deseret Chemical Warfare Depot, 



of their work, and few problems of transportation arose. At the time war 
was declared and for about six months thereafter, there was an abundance 
of applicants for positions in all the procurement districts. The district office 
simply notified the local office of the U.S. Civil Service Commission or the 
U.S. Employment Service of its needs, and they were filled. A gradual deteri- 
oration set in thereafter, the result of a number of factors. 

Among the most significant of these factors was the ability of private 
industry to pay higher wages than the government. It is ironic that in a 
number of instances those companies owed their prosperity to government 
contracts and yet they carried out recruiting campaigns which attracted em- 
ployees away from government service. At times these recruiting campaigns 
became aggressive to the point of impropriety. Certain war contractors on 
the west coast for example, used the phrase "permanent jobs" in adver- 
tising vacancies; when the impropriety of this was called to their attention 
they obligingly changed the wording to ''jobs with permanent companies/' 
The only recourse open to the procurement district offices, under the 
circumstances, was to provide for more rapid promotions and this they did. 

Another factor which complicated the personnel situation was the 
growth in the number of field inspection offices, the aftermath of the in- 
creased number of contracts. The CWS had to make provision with the 
Civil Service Commission to permit chief inspectors in certain field offices 
to hire all personnel under blanket authorities issued by the commission. 
As time went on the procurement districts, like other installations, hired 
more and more women to do jobs formerly done by men. 

In all of the districts there were units administering personnel functions. 
These units became more and more standardized in the wake of the district 
reorganizations from July 1943 to the close of the war. 71 

There were no personnel units at the CWS sections of the ports of 
embarkation or at the CWS government-owned, privately operated plants. 
Requests for funds to cover authorization of civilian positions in the chem- 
ical sections of the ports were forwarded through the commanding officers 
of the ports to the Office of the Chief, CWS. It was incumbent upon port 
chemical officers to supply the Chief's office with pertinent data relating 
to the jobs, such as organization charts and job descriptions. 72 The OC 
CWS, particularly the Supply Division, kept close watch on all port activ- 

11 Ltr, C Contl Div OC CWS to CO NYCWPD et al., 31 Jul 43, sub: Standardization of Proc 
Districts. CWS 319. 1. 

12 Memo, Ex O OC CWS for Port Cml Officers, 2 Nov 42, sub: Civ Pers Procedures. CWS 312. 



ities. Personnel administration of CWS plants was a function of the procure- 
ment district in which the particular plant was located. 

Employee Relations at Chemical Warfare Service Installations 

The on-and-off-the-job problems of employees in the CWS were con- 
fined almost exclusively to the Chemical Warfare Center and the arsenals. 
Difficulties arose on such matters as housing, transportation, care of the 
children of working mothers, adequate eating accommodations, and recrea- 
tion. The failure to solve these problems was a contributory factor to the 
comparatively high rates of absenteeism and turnover at certain CWS arsenals 
during the war. 73 To reduce the rates of absenteeism and turnover, employee 
relations officers were appointed at the various installations in 1943. 

Although employee relations problems arose at all arsenals, they 
came up in varying forms and degrees. For example, the housing problem 
at Edgewood, Huntsville, and Pine Bluff grew out of an absolute shortage 
of housing units, and arrangements had to be made with the Federal Hous- 
ing Authority to erect housing projects near those installations. At Rocky 
Mountain, the housing problem was confined to arrangements made by 
the installation for the rental of houses to new employees. 

Transportation was another problem which varied in difficulty from 
place to place. All the arsenals were faced with this problem, which was 
aggravated by the rationing of gasoline and tires. Nevertheless, the situation 
was more serious at Huntsville and Pine Bluff than at Edgewood and Rocky 
Mountain, because most of the workers at the former installations had to 
travel long distances over poor secondary roads. 

Employee problems at the arsenals differed in degree of difficulty also 
with respect to the provision of eating accommodations. All the arsenals 
felt the need for cafeterias, but the need was more pressing at Huntsville 
and Pine Bluff, where many of the workers brought lunches that were not 
conducive to the health and strength of efficient factory workers. 

An employee relations problem of considerable importance, which was 
always present at Edgewood, Huntsville, and Pine Bluff, was the preserva- 
tion of amicable relations between members of the white and Negro races. 
In matters of racial segregation the prevailing cultural patterns could not 
be entirely ignored, particularly in view of the urgent need for uninter- 
rupted production. Therefore the procedure was followed of accepting a 

73 Hunts ville Arsenal had a very high rate of absenteeism. See page 19 of report cited in Note 
I 62, above~| 



certain amount of segregation, but of providing equal rights, facilities, and 
privileges to both races. 

Training Civilian Workers 

On-the-job training was widespread during the war at all CWS installa- 
tions, particularly at the arsenals and depots. Under the circumstances, it 
could not have been otherwise. Hundreds of new employees were being 
hired, mostly in jobs of a semiskilled nature, and some provision had to 
be madq immediately for training them at least in the fundamentals. Hunts- 
ville and Pine Bluff Arsenals had the services of a small cadre of experi- 
enced employees who had come from Edgewood Arsenal, but there were 
too few of these to train all new applicants. To supplement the number 
of instructors, the arsenals sent some of the most promising of the new 
employees to Edgewood for training and, upon their return, placed them 
as instructors to fresh recruits. Rocky Mountain Arsenal after activation 
was fortunate in having access to employees from all of the other CWS 
arsenals, employees who could act as instructors to new trainees. 

Even before the new employee got to his job his training began. At 
the personnel office where he was hired he received instruction on his status 
and rights as a government worker. When he reported to the branch 
to which he was assigned he was instructed on the duties of his job and 
on matters of safety. Shortly after being hired he had the opportunity, if 
he was an employee of the Office of the Chief or of most CWS installations, 
of attending a course of about four hours' duration where CWS equipment 
and products were demonstrated to a small group of new, and even perhaps 
some old, employees. This introductory type of training was known as 
orientation training. 

The matter of safety was brought to an employee's attention on many 
occasions, particularly if he was working in an arsenal. Practically every 
course and program conducted at CWS arsenals during the war included 
some instruction on safety. 

The CWS received helpful guidance from a series of three training 
programs inaugurated by the ASF in August 1942, programs which had 
been developed co-operatively by the Army and the Industry Agency of the 
War Manpower Commission. These three programs, each of which covered 
ten hours of instruction, provided for the training of supervisors in the 
"basic skills of how to instruct, how to lead, and how to manage the tech- 
nical aspects of their jobs" and were named respectively, Job Instructor 



Training, Job Relations Training, and Job Methods Training. 74 Later a Job 
Safety Program was inaugurated and the four programs became known 
collectively as the "J ' series. 

The *'J" series led to the inauguration of training programs on a large 
scale throughout the ASF. Those programs expanded far beyond the "J" 
series and were aimed at meeting the particular needs of zone of interior 

Arsenal Training Programs 

Because of the nature of their operations, the arsenals needed more 
extensive training programs than other types of installations. Typical of 
all CWS arsenals was Rocky Mountain, which between the fall of 1942 
and the end of 1945 conducted, in addition to the "J" series, some half 
dozen courses. These included the following courses offered on a continuing 
basis: a two-week to six-week course for inexperienced chemical engineers, 
a one-week course in analytical procedures for new chemists, and a four- 
week to eight-week course at factories for instrument makers and refrig- 
erator plant operators. The following additional courses were given as 
indicated: a one-month course (four 2-hour sessions per week) in chemical 
plant operation and safety, conducted by the University of Colorado (course 
was given twice), a two-month course (two 2-hour sessions per week), 
conducted simultaneously by three Colorado universities (course given 
once), and a six-week course for laboratory technicians at the University of 
Denver (course given once). 

The training program at Rocky Mountain Arsenal, elaborate as it was, 
did not provide any extensive training for clerks and stenographers. There 
was a good reason for this, namely, that Rocky Mountain was never faced 
with any serious shortage of workers in these categories. At Huntsville 
and Pine Bluff Arsenals, on the other hand, clerks and stenographers were 
at a premium all during the wartime period. Among the most important 
features of the training program at Huntsville and Pine Bluff was the 
training, on a continuous basis, of clerks and typists. The most promising 
candidates among the girls in the plants were transferred to the offices and 
trained as clerks and typists. 

Since Huntsville and Pine Bluff were not situated near colleges or uni- 
versities, these arsenals made no effort to carry out a co-operative training 

" SOS Adm Memo 24, 1 8 Aug 42. 



program with private educational institutions. The Chemical Warfare 
Center and Rocky Mountain Arsenal were more alike in this respect. The 
various colleges in Baltimore co-operated with the CWS in setting up 
courses for its employees. At times the U.S. Office of Education also co- 
operated. For example, in 1945 the CWS, in co-operation with the U.S. 
Office of Education and the University of Baltimore, organized a fifteen- 
week course, two and one-half hours per week, for supervisors. By July 
1945, 178 supervisors had completed this course and the results, in the 
opinion of the commanding officer of the CWC, were excellent. 75 

In the administration of the training programs some arsenals did a 
better job than others. Those installations with the best civilian training 
records followed a few basic principles which made all the difference 
between good and bad administration. Among these principles the fol- 
lowing three were outstanding: (1) all supervisors were required to take 
certain basic instruction, such as the "J" series; (2) the commanding officer 
personally encouraged the training programs; and (3) there was good 
co-ordination between the military and civilian key personnel on all training 

Depot Training 

The most extensive training program at the depots, as at the arsenals, 
was on-the-job training. Within six months after the declaration of war, it 
was impossible to hire trained workers such as crane or fork lift truck 
operators, and consequently new employees had to be trained on the spot 
to perform these operations. The same situation prevailed at all of the 
depots throughout the wartime period. 

The "J" series was introduced into the depots at the same time as at 
other installations. Courses at special training schools were also initiated. 
From 1943 until the close of the war, selected depot employees, both 
military and civilian, were dispatched to the Forest Products Laboratory, 
Madison, Wisconsin, to take a one-week course in packing and packaging. 76 

The training of depot employees was closely supervised by the Supply 
Division, OC CWS. Training units were set up at those depots where 

H Ltr, CG Cm! Warfare Center to C CWS, 23 Jul 45, sub: Information, Education, and 
Special Serv Activities. CWS 230. 

"Ltr, C Storage Div OC CWS to CG Midwest Dep et al. } 23 Sep 44, sub: Packing and 
Packaging Course. CWS 352. 



there were personnel organizations, such as the Indianapolis Depot and 
the Deseret Depot. At other depots such as Eastern, Midwest, and Gulf, 
the administration of training was the function of the training unit of 
the adjoining arsenal. 

Training in the Procurement Districts 

The most pressing manpower need of the procurement districts in the 
early part of the war was for inspectors. In the emergency period, as 
indicated above, newly hired inspectors were sent from the districts to 
Edgewood Arsenal for training. These employees upon their return to the 
districts helped train more recently hired inspectors. Once war got under 
way this method could not satisfy the greatly expanded need for inspectors. 

To fill this need, the Chemical Warfare Service began an intensive drive 
to procure female as well as male employees. It scoured the colleges in 
the procurement districts for women who would qualify as inspector ap- 
prentices. Once trained, those college women did excellent work. For certain 
types of inspection, such as that of munitions, the training standards were 
lower, and a high school, vocational school, or even a grade school educa- 
tion was considered sufficient background. The minimum requirement for 
inspectors of chemicals always remained high: a college background in 
chemistry or chemical engineering. 

The training of new inspectors was carried out in co-operation with 
the city and state departments of education and with various private schools. 
In the San Francisco district, for example, a course for inspectors was 
inaugurated in December 1941 in co-operation with the California State 
Department of Education. This course included instruction in measuring 
instruments and gauges, basic metallurgy as applied to inspection, and 
miscellaneous subjects such as principles of spring design and testing. 
The state of California furnished teachers for this course. In other districts, 
such as Boston, training was conducted almost entirely in private educa- 
tional institutions such as the Durfee School at Fall River or Northeastern 
University in Boston. In still other districts, like Dallas, the district training 
unit itself conducted training courses for inspectors; a well-qualified civilian 
put in charge laid out the courses of instruction, obtained suitable texts, and 
arranged for the procurement of training films and other training aids. 77 

"Ltr, Ex O Inspection Off DCWPD to C CWS (Through C Inspection Div OC CWS), 14 
Dec 43, sub: Recommendation for Award of Emblem for Meritorious Civ Serv. CWS 200.6. 



Utilization of Employees 

There was an extravagant waste of manpower in many war industries 
during World War II. This waste occurred not only in government plants 
but also in those operated by private industries. In some instances, cupidity 
or mismanagement or a combination of both was responsible. In a greater 
number of cases the cause was due to other factors, the most important 
being the extremely rapid expansion of the industrial facilities of the coun- 
try as a result of the demand for materiel in the first year of the war. 
Contracts were let out to corporations or individuals who never had had 
experience in manufacturing the particular items called for in the contract. 
They had to learn by trial and error. Among other things, these manufac- 
turers were totally unacquainted with the best methods of employing man- 
power in their plants, a technique they had to learn as time went on. 
Older government plants had a certain amount of experience, of course, 
in producing their particular products, but the tremendous increase in 
the demand for more and more of all types of items led them to place 
secondary emphasis on the conservation of manpower. The newer gov- 
ernment plants, like the industries which converted to wartime manufacture, 
were in a more serious predicament. 

The Chemical Warfare Service, like the other technical services, was 
faced with the problem of conserving manpower. As early as July 1942 
the Commanding General, ASF, called attention to the need for better 
use of personnel. He informed the Chief, CWS, that many of the War 
Department offices were not using their employees to best advantage and 
urged a survey to ascertain the number and function of clerical workers 
by grade. 78 This was the beginning of a drive by General Somervell to 
conserve manpower, a drive which was to continue throughout the wartime 
period. Time and again he reiterated, either through personal statements or 
through official administrative action, the necessity for efficient utilization 
of personnel, both military and civilian. 79 In conformity with this policy 
great emphasis was placed on work simplification and work measurement 
programs throughout the ASF. 80 

"Memo, CG SOS for C CWS, 21 Jul 42. 

79 (i) ASF Adm Memo S-i, 10 Oct 42. (2) Ltr, CofS ASF to C CWS, 18 Jan 43. CWS 200. 
(3) Memo, CofS ASF for C CWS, 27 Jul 43, sub: Reduction in Operating Pers. CWS 223. (4) 
Address of CG ASF to Conf of Pers Contl Units of Tech Servs, Washington, D.C., 18 Jan 44. 

cws 337. 

80 Work measurement consisted of comparing the amount of work performed by the same 
organization at different periods of time, or comparable organizations at the same period of time, 
by indicating a ratio of personnel to workload. 



In June 1943, it was disclosed, General Somervell had promised General 
Marshall that he would reduce the number of ASF operating personnel 
by 105,000 and that Under Secretary of War Patterson and James Mitchell, 
director of ASF personnel, had assured Congress there would be a cut of 
at least 100,000 in civilian personnel in the ASF. 81 After the ASF appor- 
tioned this figure among its various elements, the Chemical Warfare Service 
was cut back 2,424 employees in July 1943. 82 

The CWS record for reducing the actual number of its personnel during 
the war was not outstanding. At times when many other branches and 
services were showing a decrease in their employment rolls, the CWS was 
showing an increase. But there was a very good reason behind the CWS 
increase: the expanded chemical warfare procurement program in the 
second half of the war. The CWS did not reach its peak of procurement 
before 1944. 83 Had the war continued, the Service would undoubtedly have 
reached peak procurement in 1945 or later, because at the time the war came 
to a close the demand for items like the flame thrower and the incendiary 
bomb was rising. 84 Although the CWS did not show a marked decline in 
the actual number of its employees, the CWS record in making the best 
use of its manpower was in the main impressive, as members of the ASF 
staff noted on various occasions. 85 

On 4 March 1943 General Porter appointed a Manpower Utilization 
Committee to supervise all projects aimed at conserving manpower in the 
CWS. 86 The Control Division, OC CWS, acted as the operating agency 
for this committee and, through the control units at the installations, 
administered work simplification and later work measurement programs 
on a continuing basis. On 24 January 1944 the Chief, CWS, appointed 
a Personnel Utilization Board of five military members, headed by General 
Loucks, to survey the employment needs of each CWS installation and 
make recommendations on better utilization of personnel. 87 

81 Memo, Maj Robert G. Boyd for C Pers Div OC CWS, 23 Jun 43, sub: ASF Conf on Contl 
of Pers. CWS 200.3. 

81 Ltr, C CWS to CG ASF, 28 Jul 43> sub: Pers Allotment. CWS 200.3. 

S3 This information was obtained from Statistical Branch, Office of Comptroller of the Army. 

84 See Special ASF Staff Conf Analysis, Period I Supply, 21 Mar 45. At that time the only two 
technical services with expanding procurement programs were the CWS and the Transportation 

85 (i) Memo, CofS ASF for C CWS, 8 Jun 44, sub: Work Simplification. CWS 310. (2) ASF 
Manpower Utilization Survey Team No. 6 Covering CWS Installations, Rpt on Spot Check of 
HA, Ala., 21 Feb 45. (3) ASF Manpower Utilization Survey Team No. 6 Covering CWS Installa- 
tions, Rpt on Spot Check of PBA, Ark. Last two in CWS 230. 

8a OC CWS SO 55, 4 Mar 43. 

87 OC CWS SO 20, 24 Jan 44. 



Utilization of Personnel at Arsenals 

Of all CWS civilian personnel 85 percent was engaged in activities 
related to procurement. 88 This type of activity was the most amenable to 
work measurement, an operation on which the CWS put great emphasis, 
particularly at the arsenals. Both the Control and Industrial Divisions, OC 
CWS, scrutinized the personnel utilization reports of the arsenals very 
closely and called upon the commanding officers to explain any apparent 
failures to cut down the number of man-hours. In this way the arsenals 
became conscious of the importance of the work simplification and work 
measurement program and strove to make better records in their personnel 
utilization indexes. 

Certain factors beyond the control of the Chemical Warfare Service 
mitigated against the optimum utilization of manpower at the arsenals. 
Among these were changing schedules of production, uncertain flow o£ 
components and raw materials, the relatively short period of actual opera- 
tions, and empirical problems presented by the production of items never 
before manufactured. Under such conditions it was just not possible to 
make effective use of manpower at all times. That the Under Secretary 
of War appreciated the problems peculiar to manufacturing plants is 
indicated in Mr. Patterson's remark of May 1944 that it was often harder 
to re-staff a plant that had lost workers than it had been to staff the plant 
originally. Mr. Patterson therefore recommended that "each service should 
act with great caution in cutting down plant operation since it will be very 
difficult to get plants back into production." 89 

Another factor preventing effective use of personnel at the arsenals was 
the duplication of functions by the CWS and the service commands, 90 
Army Regulation 170-10, as revised on 10 August 1942, provided that 
the service commands perform at technical services installations certain 
activities such as laundry, repair work, and maintenance. There were un- 
doubtedly good reasons for this arrangement, but difficulties arose at CWS 
arsenals when service command workmen began to duplicate or supplement 
work done by CWS workmen. 

The CWS did not eliminate its repair and maintenance crews at the 

88 Memo, Ex O OC CWS for Dir Pers ASF, 15 Jan 44, sub: Work Simplification Indices and 
Pers Requirements for Zone of Interior Establishments of Tech Servs. CWS 200.3. 

w Memo, AC Contl Div for AC CWS for Materiel, 16 May 44, sub: ASF Staff Conf, 12 May 

44- cws 337. 

90 For details on service commands, see Millett, Army Service Forces, Chapter XXI. 



arsenals with the revision of Army Regulation 170-10. The Chief, CWS, 
and the commanding officers of the arsenals felt that since the Chemical 
Warfare Service was responsible for the operation of the arsenals it was 
also responsible for their upkeep; it was just not possible to separate the 
two. At the Chemical Warfare Center a happy arrangement was worked 
out whereby the post engineer was made chief of the Service Division of 
the arsenal. 91 In this way the use of duplicate crews of workmen was 
avoided. At the other arsenals there was no such arrangement, and duplica- 
tion and overlapping did occur. At times the situation bordered on the 
ridiculous. For example, at Rocky Mountain Arsenal, painters working 
under the post engineer would paint only the door frames and window 
casings of buildings. CWS painters would then have to paint the rest of 
the building. This procedure resulted in additional expense and loss in 
man-hours. 93 

The use of CWS repair and maintenance workers was, no doubt, con- 
trary to Army Regulation 170-10 (revised). In July and August 1945 
the ASF took steps to eliminate such practice by supplementing the Army 
Regulation with official circulars. 93 The circulars left the Chief, CWS, 
no alternative but to prepare for the transfer of some seven hundred service 
employees from the CWS to the service commands. This he was in process 
of carrying out when the war came to an end, but he did not take the 
action without a protest. 94 

Personnel Utilization at Other Chemical Warfare Service Installations 

The work measurement program got under way in the depots as the 
result of an ASF directive of November 1944. Under that directive the 
Control and Supply Divisions of the Chief's office developed procedures 
for putting the plan in operation at CWS depots and chemical warfare 
sections of general depots. 95 The program was not in operation in the depots 
long enough for its efficiency to be properly judged. 

CWS officials found that the work measurement program was not prac- 

9i (i) Ltr, EX O Cml Warfare Center to C CWS, 28 Jul 45, sub: Post Engineer Activities at 
EA. CWS 231. (2) Interv, CmlHO and Mr. Gerald P. Schwarzkopf, C Serv Div, ACmlC, Md., 
14 Oct 54. 

92 History of Rocky Mountain Arsenal, VII, 2234. 

93 ASF Cirs 265, 312 and 342 of 1945. 

94 Ltr, C CWS to CG ASF (Att: Dir of Pers) 28 Aug 45, sub: Pers Readjustments Under ASF 
Cirs 265 and 312. CWS 200. 

93 Activities of Contl Div OC CWS, 1 Jan 45~*4 Aug 45, p. 9. 



ticable in the procurement districts until uniformity of organization had 
been attained. As indicated above, standardization was achieved in the fall 
of 1 943. 96 The CWS then submitted a list of the activities and operations 
of the procurement districts to the ASF for consideration in drawing up 
a uniform system of work measurement for all districts. Not until the spring 
of 1945 was the system formulated. Thus the war was practically over 
before the work measurement program got started in the procurement 

The utilization of personnel at CWS installations is somewhat difficult 
to assess. Perhaps if the work measurement program had been initiated 
earlier or if the war had continued it would be possible to pass judgment. 
Although, as indicated, ASF staff officers commented favorably upon per- 
sonnel utilization at certain CWS arsenals, a War Department special board, 
the Gasser Board, which made a study in the summer and fall of 1945, 
was not always so favorably impressed. 97 Members of this board visited 
some of the CWS installations and on the basis of their observations made 
a number of recommendations on the more effective use of manpower. 98 
The war ended before these recommendations could be thoroughly studied. 

Use of Prisoners of War 

One of the means by which the CWS attempted to overcome the short- 
age of manpower was through the use of prisoners of war. Late in 
December 1944 General Somervell urged General Porter to make greater 
use of POW's for certain types of work. Porter immediately directed his 
installation commanders to use the prisoners wherever possible and he put 
an officer in the Industrial Division, OC CWS, in charge of all POW 
activities. 99 In May 1945 more than 1,900 prisoners of war were at CWS 
installations, and over 1,900 more were at prisoner of war camps, working 
on CWS projects. 100 

M See above, |Chapter VI. | 

87 See Fairchild and Grossman, The Army and Industrial Manpower, Chapter III, for discussion 
of Gasser Board and other manpower boards and committees. 

98 Data on War Department Manpower Board surveys on certain installations are in WDMB 
file 333. Members of the survey teams discussed their findings with CWS officers, who were 
skeptical of surveys based on a few days' investigation. Van Domelen Interv, 24 Oct 50. 

M (i) Ltr, CG ASF to C CWS, 21 Dec 44- (2) Ltr, C CWS to NYCWPD, 2 Jan 45, sub: 
Utilization of POW Labor on Essential Work. (3) Ltr, C CWS to CO HA, 3 Jan 45, sub: 
Utilization of POW Labor on Essential Work. Last two in CWS 230. 

100 Memo, C Plant Protection and Labor Br for Fiscal Div OC CWS, 28 May 45, sub: POW's 
at Cml Warfare Installations. 



The efficiency of prisoner of war labor depended to no small extent 
on good supervision. Tests made in March 1945 indicated that the rate 
of production in well-supervised POW camps was four times greater than 
in poorly supervised camps. 101 

Guarding the Worker's Life and Health 102 

CWS responsibility for safety in its arsenals and plants became crystal- 
lized in July 1942. From then until the close of the war the service had 
responsibilities for plant protection, which included accident and fire 
prevention as well as measures designed to prevent sabotage and espionage, 
at the CWS arsenals and plants and at designated contractor plants. 103 
To supervise these functions throughout the CWS a Plant Protection, Safety, 
and Labor Branch was activated in the Industrial Division, OC CWS, in 
mid-1942. This office was headed, for the duration of the war, by Col. 
James C. Sawders. 

The Plant Protection, Safety, and Labor Branch, upon its inception, 
undertook a program aimed at educating arsenal and plant supervisory 
personnel on the importance of safety. The branch placed great emphasis 
on engineering improvements such as guarding and grounding machinery, 
and better ventilation. From early 1945 until the close of the war it 
stressed the safety training of all employees. The result of all this activity 
was remarkable: the CWS, which in 1942 and 1943 had one of the worst 
safety records of any element of the War Department, improved until 
by 1945 it had one of the best records. 104 

This record, commendable though it was, would have been even better 
had the safety training of all employees been initiated at an earlier date. 
Of course, the ideal situation would have been institution of a thorough- 
going safety program from the very start of the emergency period. Many 
accidents would have been avoided had that been done. 

101 Ltr, Lt Col James C. Sawders to C Contl Div OC CWS, 24 Mar 45, sub: Rpt of Official 
Travel. CWS 314.7 Pers File. 

102 The chief sources of information for this section were, in addition to the sources cited, 
interviews and correspondence with the following World War II officers who had had experience 
in intelligence and plant protection functions in CWS: Colonels MacArthur, Charles H. McNary, 
James C. Sawders, and Sidney L. Weedon. 

103 SOS Cir C-i, 22 Jul 42. Although this circular was superseded by SOS Circular 66, 22 
September 1942, CWS responsibilities were not modified. 

104 Rpt, CWS Proc Conf Held at BCWPD, Boston, Mass., 24-25 Apr 45, pp. 40-43, remarks 
of Col James C Sawders. 



Sabotage and espionage were matters of immediate interest, not only 
to the Plant Protection, Safety, and Labor Branch but also to the Intel- 
ligence Branch of the Chief's office, which during World War II was 
headed by Lt. Col. Sidney L. Weedon. The Intelligence Branch had respon- 
sibility for security checks on officers, just as the Federal Bureau of Inves- 
tigation did on civilians, as well as for counterintelligence activities. 105 
When a fire or accident occurred which indicated the possibility of sabotage 
or espionage, the Intelligence Branch was concerned as to whether an 
officer was involved; in the same way the Plant Protection Branch was 
concerned about the possibility of civilians being involved. There were no 
known instances of sabotage or espionage in the CWS in World War II. 
It cannot be definitely stated that there were no cases of sabotage or 
espionage because of the difficulty of establishing such activities as the cause 
of fires and accidents. What can be stated definitely is that the Chemical 
Warfare Service was extremely vigilant in the security screening of prospec- 
tive officers and employees. 

CWS personnel rolls, military and civilian, expanded rapidly in the 
general mobilization of World War II. Reserve officers were brought into 
the service in great numbers, and civilians with special qualifications were 
given temporary commissions. These non-Regulars worked closely with the 
small cadre of CWS Regular officers to carry out the wartime mission. All 
during the war the CWS had access to a great number of qualified enlisted 
men, and from 1942 on, to competent WAC personnel. 

The problem of filling civilian manpower needs was more difficult. 
Like all elements of the War Department the Chemical Warfare Service 
was faced with ever-tightening restrictions on the number of employees 
allotted. The CWS attempted to solve this problem by concentrating on 
retaining the people it had, by training them to be more efficient, and by 
conserving manpower generally through work simplification procedures. 

105 OC CWS Organization Charts, Aug 43 and Dec 44. 



Military Training 
Responsibilities of the 
Chemical Warfare Service 

The military training responsibilities of the Chief of the Chemical 
Warfare Service were succinctly stated in the National Defense Act of 
1920 as: 

a. . . . supervision of the training of the Army in chemical warfare, both offensive 
and defensive, including the necessary schools of instruction. . . . 

b. . . . training ... of special troops. . . . 1 

Although amplified by subsequent administrative regulations, these pro- 
visions furnished the basic pattern followed in CWS training during World 
War II. 

War Department directives provided that chemical warfare training 
should cover the fields of smoke, incendiary, and gas; yet the primary 
concern of the CWS prior to World War II was unquestionably with gas. 
Since the service had been created by Congress as an answer to the military 
threat of toxic chemicals, the status of the CWS as an independent technical 
service could scarcely have been justified if it were not prepared to cope 
with this major menace. Fear of gas was largely fear of the unknown, and 
its antidote was, in large measure, to acquaint troops with toxic agents and 
how to counteract them. To impart such understanding was the primary 
training responsibility of the Chemical Warfare Service and the point of 
departure for the whole CWS mission. 

The training of troops in protection against war gases can be approached 
with two differing objectives in view. One is training to insure mere survival 
of an enemy attack. The other is a more aggressive type of training, in- 

1 WD Bull 25, 9 Jun 20. 



tended to enable troops to advance through their own as well as the enemy's 
gas attacks. One is essentially negative; the other, an essentially positive 
approach. Circumstances combined with events to determine eventually 
a positive U.S. attitude toward training for gas warfare. Chemical officers 
were generally aggressive-minded, although before the war their enthusiasm 
was often curbed by opposition within as well as outside the Army. 2 Denied 
substantial funds for production and development of offensive materiel, 
CWS threw much energy into training channels, where such limitations were 
less hampering. 

In addition to staff supervision of training of the entire Army in chem- 
ical warfare, the CWS was of course responsible for its own normal military 
and technical branch training. Since the number of CWS officers and troops 
was relatively small prior to 1940, this type of training presented no special 
problem. The National Defense Act appeared to give precedence to the 
more general training mission; and this was certainly the most challenging. 
By mutual agreement, chemical warfare training responsibilities in the 
early 1920's included training of the Navy and Marine Corps. The training 
activities of the CWS, therefore, came to reach, in some degrees, all ele- 
ments of the armed forces. 

Prewar Training of Chemical Warfare Service Personnel 

The technical (branch) training of Regular and Reserve CWS officers 
and of CWS enlisted men conducted before the war, being necessarily 
limited, provided little procedural experience for solving complex training 
problems that were to confront the CWS after the beginning of hostilities. 
The duty strength of the officer corps of the Chemical Warfare Service 
had remained substantially unchanged for some years. In the month of the 
outbreak of war in Europe it included ninety Regular Army officers and 
approximately twenty-one hundred Reservists. 3 

Two factors tended to restrict the prewar training of Regular Army 
officers assigned to the CWS. One was the limited number of these officers; 
another, the diversified nature of their duties, some of which were highly 
technical. It was scarcely feasible to institute a sufficient number of courses 
to satisfy all the training requirements of CWS officers. 

2 See above, | Chapter II.] 

* Annual Report of the Secretary of War to the President, 1940 (Washington: Government 
Printing Office, 1940). Also, see abovejpTable 2. 



Because of the slow turnover of officers during the decade preceding 
the European war, the problem of indoctrinating those transferring to the 
CWS from other branches was never pressing. Their military education 
was usually well advanced when they entered the Chemical Warfare 
Service, Attendance at a Chemical Warfare School course was required 
immediately after transfer, following which on-the-job training largely 
served to familiarize new officers with the specialized duties of the service. 

Professional training of officers of the regular establishment was fur- 
thered by assigning them to courses of instruction at general and special 
service schools according to quotas established by the War Department. 
Some advanced training was accomplished at civilian schools, especially 
in the form of postgraduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Tech- 
nology and the Harvard School of Business Administration. Seven officers 
were normally detached each year for duty as students at military and 
civilian schools. 

In all, more than one third of the officers assigned to the CWS before 
World War II were on training duty. Besides 7 students, these included: 
9 officers assigned to faculties of general and special service schools; 2 
instructors of ROTC units; 9 company officers with chemical troop units; 
4 division chemical officers; and 2 officers on duty with the Training Di- 
vision, Office of the Chief, CWS. The twelve chemical officers assigned 
to corps areas and overseas departments also had considerable training 
responsibilities. Training represented a major activity of Regular Army 
CWS officers. 

Before World War II the Chemical Warfare Service had developed 
a relatively strong corps of Reserve officers, which included two distinct 
components, the branch assignment group and the corps area assignment 
group. The branch assignment group comprised officers whose mobilization 
assignment called for duty directly under the chief of branch. It consisted 
largely of men whose civilian backgrounds indicated a technical military 
occupational specialty appropriate to the CWS. In 1939 it included approxi- 
mately 800 officers. Premobilization training of this group was a direct 
responsibility of the Chief, CWS, although in practice this training was 
generally decentralized to corps area chemical officers. The corps area 
assignment group also included many Reserve officers with technical ex- 
perience in chemical fields. However, members of this group were slated 
for assignment to military units rather than to technical or procurement 
installations. There were approximately 1,300 corps area assignment Reserve 
officers in 1939. Responsibility for their training rested with corps area 



and department commanders, although the Chief, CWS, was vitally con- 
cerned with their readiness for war service. 

The two principal means for training Reserve officers were army exten- 
sion (correspondence) courses and associate training for 14-day periods 
with the Regular Army. These means were admittedly imperfect, yet none- 
theless contributed measurably to the war preparation of the CWS Reserve. 
The extension course of the Chemical Warfare School offered in 1939 
a total of eighteen subcourses prepared by the school for the instruction 
of CWS Reserve officers of all grades. One of these, Defense Against 
Chemical Warfare, was a required subcourse for study by Reserve officers 
of all arms and services. Associate training was, in theory, integrated with 
extension course training. A total of 453 Chemical Warfare Service Reserve 
officers were called to active duty for fourteen-day training periods during 
fiscal year 1939. 4 

For recruitment, the Reserves depended largely on the Reserve Officers' 
Training Corps. The unit maintained at Massachusetts Institute of Tech- 
nology provided many highly trained technical officers. In 1935 a second 
CWS unit was authorized at Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College, 
from which source splendid troop leaders were obtained. Before the war 
the junior class of each unit, funds permitting, was brought to Edgewood 
Arsenal annually for summer training. Enrollment in these two units 
stood at 326 on 30 June 1939. 5 

The Regular Army enlisted strength of the Chemical Warfare Service 
in September 1939 totaled 759,° or less than two thirds of the number 
set by statute in 1920/ Eighty percent of these men were assigned to the 
handful of understrength CWS troop formations. The remainder were 
scattered in small detachments from Manila to Governors Island. Their 
training followed in general the conventional pattern of Army peacetime 
field operations. Promotion to grades of staff, technical, and master sergeant 
was based on written examinations conducted under direction of the Chief, 
CWS. Occasional courses of instruction at the Chemical Warfare School 
were provided for men seeking promotion under this system. The turnover 
among senior enlisted men was so slow in the prewar years that NCO 
courses were conducted infrequently. The eight-week course ending 26 

4 Annual Rpt of SW to President, 1939, p. 62. 

5 Annual Rpt of SW to President, 1940, p. 62. 
9 Ibid., App. A, Table D. 

7 Section 12 a of the Nati onal Defense Act specified that CWS would be allotted 1,200 enlisted 

men. See above, Chapter I. 



May 1939 was the first NCO course that had been conducted since 1933. 
It was inevitable that, with so few Regular Army officers assigned to the 
CWS, considerable responsibility should devolve in peacetime upon the 
senior noncommissioned officers of this branch. Many of these men were 
commissioned during World War II and served with distinction in grades 
up to and including that of colonel. 

Training of Other Branches 

Although the Chief, CWS, had a statutory responsibility for supervising 
the training of the entire Army in chemical warfare, "both offensive and 
defensive," this fact was never taken by the War Department as a reason 
for relieving the unit commander of immediate responsibility for the readi- 
ness of his command for chemical combat. 8 Instead, the chemical training 
program was developed so as to strengthen rather than weaken that respon- 
sibility. Thus the War Department from time to time established standards 
of readiness and indicated the scope of assistance to be rendered by the 
Chemical Warfare Service to field commanders in meeting these standards. 9 

An underlying doctrine in training for gas defense was that slack defense 
invited attack while superior defense deterred attack. Good gas discipline 
could be expected to deny military advantage to an enemy employing poison 
gas — and thus to discourage him from such use. And gas discipline de- 
pended on sound training supplemented by dependable protective equip- 

Organization within the Army for defense against chemical attack was 
based on the proposition that unit commanders at each echelon have on 
their staff specialists capable of assisting them in gas defense training. 
According to basic training doctrine, these specialists fell into two cate- 
gories. 10 The "chemical" officer was a CWS technical specialist assigned 
by superior authority to the staff of the commander of a division, corps, 
army, corps area, or department. At lower echelons the term "gas" officer 
(or noncommissioned officer) was used. Thus unit personnel were desig- 
nated by unit commanders to serve as gas officers for regiments and bat- 

8 The unit commander was given this responsibility in the AEF gas manual, Defensive Meas- 
ures Against Gas Attacks, 30 November 1917, p. 18. 

9 Ltr, TAG to All Corps Area and Dept Comdrs et al., 24 Jul 30, sub: Cml Warfare Tng and 
Tactical Assignment of Cml Warfare Troops to GHQ Reserve. AG 321,94 (5-17-30) (Misc.) 

10 Basic Field Manual, Vol. I, Field Service Pocketbook, Ch. 8, Defense Against Chemical 
Attack, 31 Dec 37, superseded in May 1940 by FM 21—40. 



Basic Training, Camp Roberts. California. Trainees receive instruction in 
decontamination procedures. 

talions and as gas noncommissioned officers for regiments, battalions, 
companies, or corresponding units of both ground and air troops. 

After recruit instruction in use of the gas mask, training followed three 
well-defined phases: specialist training of unit gas officers and NCO's; 
basic training of units under direction of their gas officers and NCO's; and, 
finally, application of basic unit training in field problems involving gas 

The specialized training of unit gas officers and noncommissioned offi- 
cers was therefore the starting point for the progressive training of combat 
forces in gas defense. This training was particularly the staff responsibility 
of chemical officers, who were charged with conducting special courses of 
instruction as frequently as necessary to insure that all units were provided 
with suitably trained gas officers and noncommissioned officers. The Basic 
Field Manual called for twenty-two hours of instruction for unit gas per- 
sonnel. Opportunities were given for company grade line officers also to 



Gas Training for Officers. Wearing masks, officers enter gassed area. 
Specialist training, Camp Beale, California. 

receive this type of training, in more detail, at the Chemical Warfare 
School. Thus the training of unit gas officers and noncommissioned officers 
was a staff responsibility of the Chief, CWS, who was concerned with the 
training of instructors; the utilization of such unit personnel (and also of 
staff chemical officers) in the training of combat troops was a responsibility 
of unit command. 

Unit training of combat commands in gas defense, as distinguished 
from individual training, stressed collective protection. The field phase of 
this training was intended to test the ability of the unit to meet gas 
situations according to the tactical employment of the arm. The overall 
standard set by the War Department contemplated "opposing effectively 
any enemy employing chemical weapons." 11 As head of a special staff 
section of the War Department, the Chief, CWS, was concerned with 

n Ltr, TAG to C CWS , 7 Jan 24, sub: CWSs Functions. AG 321.94 (1-2-24) (Misc.) M-C 
See above, [pages 187— 887] 



how well gas discipline in the Army satisfied this standard and he accord- 
ingly advised the General Staff in matters pertaining to chemical warfare 
for inclusion in annual War Department training directives. 12 

Compared to the amount of organization and effort involved in defen- 
sive training, that devoted to offensive chemical warfare was relatively 
limited. Policy in this field was frequently reviewed by the War Department 
General Staff. Standard procedure was that chemical weapons developed 
for the U.S. Army should be produced "with a view to employment by 
one or more of the combatant branches" 13 (that is, by Infantry, Field 
Artillery, Air Corps, etc.). For such materiel, the CWS was in theory a 
producer and supplier only. But the Chemical Warfare Service was never 
content merely to purvey. It took the view that the stocks of smoke, in- 
cendiary, and gas munitions were specialties, the merits of which might be 
overlooked if not adequately utilized. Hence an important function of CWS 
officers detailed to the faculties of special service schools and the Command 
and General Staff School was to further the introduction of chemical 
warfare situations into instructional problems and at the same time assist 
in the development of doctrine covering the employment of chemical 
munitions by the several combat arms. The Chief, CWS, selected instructors 
for assignment to those schools with the utmost care. 

Not all chemical weapons were suited to employment by one of the 
older arms. Such weapons constituted the armament of "special gas troops" 
and the technique of their employment was taught at the Chemical Warfare 

Chemical Warfare School 

The Chemical Warfare School at Edgewood Arsenal was, before the 
war, the most important single training agency of the CWS. It was in effect 
the fountainhead of chemical warfare training for the Army and its teach- 
ings were closely followed in the Navy and Marine Corps. It was also to 
some extent a laboratory for the development of chemical warfare tactics 
and techniques. 

The school taught, almost exclusively, the offensive and defensive 
aspects of gas warfare. The military employment of smoke was treated 

"Memo, sub: Policy on Cml Warfare Training, approved by C CWS on 7 Jun 29. CWS 

1J Ltr, TAG to All Corps Area and Dept Comdrs et al., 4 Oct 27, sub: Cml Warfare Tng. AG 
321.94 (9-27-27)- 



briefly, and some consideration was given to incendiary warfare. Imprac- 
ticability of biological warfare was accented. The faculty emphasized that 
gas was an important development in military science; that wide use of 
the gas weapon in the next war was inevitable; that American gas warfare 
materiel, offensive and defensive, was superior, and, when employed to- 
gether with the gas discipline so essential to troop protection, would ensure 
the ability of the U.S. Army to stage gas attacks more effectively than 
its enemies. 

The great majority of students attending the school were from arms 
and services other than the CWS. Most of them were expected after gradua- 
tion to become instructors in gas defense in their organizations or to super- 
vise some phase of chemical warfare operations. Accommodations available 
at Edgewood Arsenal limited the capacity of the school to approximately 
fifty students. Normally, only five classes were conducted during the school 
year. Their duration varied from three to twelve weeks, and they ran 
without overlap. In an average year, resident students attended the school 
thirty weeks out of the fifty-two. The total number of graduates, as of 30 
June 1939, was 2,8o9. 14 {Table 8) 

Table 8 — Chemical Warfare School Courses, School Year 






5 weeks 

3 weeks 

6 weeks 
12 weeks 

4 weeks 




Field Officers 

Navy Fall 


Line and Staff 

Navy Springs _ 

•Regular Army-70 (includes 9 CWS officers); National Guard-19; Organized Reserves-15 (includes 11 CWS officers); 
Marine Corps-10; Navy-91. 

Source: Class records, Chemical Corps School. 

The Chemical Warfare School had a tendency toward extroversion, 
naturally acquired through many years of teaching its military specialty to 
other elements of the armed forces. During prewar years the school was 
notably successful in bringing a working knowledge of gas warfare to 

14 Records, Cml C School. 



a wide cross section of Army and Navy officers. It stood well among service 
schools on two counts: it had developed a liberal approach to military 
education, and it was held in high regard by its graduates. 

Prior to 1939 three courses had been developed for the instruction of 
Army officers: the Basic, the Line and Staff, and the Field Officers' Courses. 
The Basic Course was essentially an elaborate unit gas officers* course which 
was attended in the late prewar years by an increasing number of National 
Guard and some Reserve officers. It was intended to strengthen the gas 
defense program by making available an increasing number of well qualified 
junior line officers to aid in unit training of ground and air forces. The 
Line and Staff Course (the longest prewar course conducted by the school) 
trained company grade officers, principally Regular Army, in both offensive 
and defensive chemical warfare. It presented a broad picture of gas warfare 
involving all combatant arms. The Field Officers' Course was designed to 
acquaint senior officers with the general features of chemical warfare from 
the viewpoint of battalion and regimental commanders. This midsummer 
course was timed for the convenience of officers graduating from or de- 
tailed to attend other Army schools, especially the general service schools. 

In addition to these three standard courses for Army personnel, a Navy 
Course was conducted each spring and fall, integrated with the naval 
program of professional schooling. In order to assist in this instruction, 
naval personnel stationed at Edgewood Arsenal were attached to the faculty 
of the CW School. 

Training Situation in 19 39 

In the two decades preceding World War II the CWS had developed 
a training organization that was well designed to serve the primary purpose 
of maintaining within the armed forces a healthy attitude toward gas 
warfare. If in these years the use of chemical weapons other than gas was 
not stressed, the omission must be attributed to the fact that other chemical 
weapons were still largely unperfected. 

The training activities of the branch engaged a large and possibly 
disproportionate number of CWS officers. Training was in fact an engaging 
occupation. Trainers at times developed an evangelical approach toward 
gas warfare. The subject was novel and often welcomed by troops as a 
change from monotonous military exercises. Despite limited allotments of 
training time, the military concepts of the Chemical Warfare Service were 
well disseminated at the close of the interwar period. 



Considerable training had been accomplished in connection with the 
projected mobilization of chemical combat troops. The composition of these 
troops and the tactics of their employment in conjunction with field armies 
were studied at service schools and in correspondence courses. The CWS 
expected that gas warfare would be resumed where it had left off in 1918; 
that the scale of gas casualties suffered by the American Army would be 
reduced because of improved defensive techniques; and that gathering 
momentum in the United States in the production of gas munitions during 
the final phases of World War I would quickly be regained in a new 
war so as to assure dominance in this field. In the view of the Chemical 
Warfare Service, at least, gas was a normal military weapon and, as a 
result of progressive training, the theory of its employment had become 
integrated into the main stream of Army tactical doctrine. 

While no attempt was made to conceal training activities, every nation 
shrouded in secrecy its research and development in chemical warfare. 
The U.S. found it difficult to obtain precise information as to the size and 
scope of preparations for the offensive use of poison gas by other nations. 
Intelligence estimates were based to some extent on more readily obtainable 
information as to training activities in gas defense, which were generally 
accepted as an index to national intentions. The considerable attention 
given to chemical warfare defense in the United States Army was frequently 
noted by military attaches of the Washington embassies. As a result, both 
Germany and Japan came to a similar conclusion well before the outset of 
hostilities — the United States was making serious preparations for gas 
warfare. 15 

Actually the policy of President Roosevelt was to avert rather than 
to precipitate gas warfare. This policy was unmistakably announced in his 
veto message of 1937. 16 Despite Presidential intent some veering in attitude 
toward gas warfare is discernible in the years immediately preceding 1939. 
This trend coincided with the steady deterioration of international con- 
ciliation as a means of avoiding war which followed the rise of Mussolini 
and Hitler to power. It was reflected within the War Department as early 
as 1930, when a noticeable shift in emphasis from strictly defensive training 
in gas warfare took place. 17 The combatant status of the Chemical Warfare 
Service was reaffirmed in 1935 when Congress specified that the CWS, 

16 For a discussion of German estimate, see Herman Ochsner, History of German Chemical 
Warfare in WorM W;ir TT,. Chemical Corps Historical Studies, No. 2, pp. 15 and 17. 

16 See aboveJChapter II J 

17 See [Note 9 above. | 



as well as the combatant arms, be included in the allotment of Reserve 
officers called to extended active duty. 18 

Having weathered much controversy in the two decades of its existence, 
the CWS by 1939 confidently felt that its seasoned training doctrine would 
contribute substantially to the success of any war into which the nation 
might be drawn. 

18 Public Law 408, approved 30 August 1935. This was the Thomason Act, which authorized 
the President to call one thousand Reserve officers to active duty every year for a period of active 
service not to exceed one year. 


Partial Mobilization: 

The beginning of large-scale war in Europe on 3 September 1939 was 
followed five days later by President Roosevelt's proclamation of a national 
emergency, accompanied by Executive Order 8244 which authorized an 
increase in the strength of the Army. 1 These developments marked the start 
of a new, more energetic stage of military activity — of preparations which 
for many months were animated by a hope of avoiding conflict, but which 
after the midsummer of 1940 were pointed increasingly toward the defeat 
of the Axis Powers. 2 

Chemical warfare training in the initial phase of partial mobilization 
showed slight advance beyond the normal procedures that already were 
in effect. But the nation's gradual girding for war during 1939 and 1940 
pointed up certain basic deficiencies in the chemical preparedness program 
which became a matter of serious concern to the Chemical Warfare Service. 

Chemical Troops in the Emergency Period 

War Department planning at this time was based upon the quick 
marshaling of an Initial Protective Force (IPF) which was designed 
to resist invasion and to hold off an enemy pending mobilization under 
the Protective Mobilization Plan (PMP). The strengthening of the Regular 
Army and National Guard provided for by Executive Order No. 8244 
was the first step in the development of this plan. The United States was 
not expected to use gas offensively during the IPF stage although it seemed 
likely that protection against gas attack would become important. The 
CWS regarded this prospect soberly and had developed its planning toward 

1 WD Bull 18, 12 Sep 39. 

! The beginning of CWS industrial mobilization at this time is discussed in Brophy, Miles and 
Cochrane, From Laboratory to Field. 



effective defense against any invader employing toxic agents. The offensive 
use of chemical warfare by U.S. troops was reserved, so far as Army 
planners could foresee, for later stages of war and for application if neces- 
sary on hostile soil. These factors tended to lower the priority under which 
the main body of chemical troops would be mobilized and accordingly to 
defer their training period. 

The 90 officers and 759 enlisted men in the CWS in September 1939 
were the hard core around which the tremendous expansion of the next 
four years was to develop. Within this allocation seven Regular Army 
chemical companies had been organized, all at reduced strength. These 

Headquarters Company and Company A, 2d Separate Chemical Bat- 
talion, stationed at Edgewood Arsenal where they served as testing and 
demonstration units with the Chemical Warfare School (remainder of 
battalion inactive). 

Company A, 1st Separate Chemical Battalion, assigned to Hawaiian 
Department and attached to the Hawaiian Division (remainder of battalion 

Company C, 2d Chemical Regiment, stationed at Fort Benning, Ga., 
as a school troops unit with The Infantry School (remainder of regiment 
inactive) . 

412th Chemical Depot Company, on duty at Edgewood Chemical War- 
fare Depot. 

1st Separate Chemical Company (pack) , assigned to the Panama Canal 

4th Separate Chemical Company, assigned to the Philippine Department. 

At the outset of the emergency period, the initial problem was to build 
up these active Regular Army companies to full strength, or as near full 
strength as possible under the emergency increase. Later the inactive Regular 
Army units could be mobilized to bring up to strength the 1st and 2d 
Chemical Regiments and the 1st and 2d Separate Chemical Battalions. 3 
Once these measures had been accomplished, the main problems of CWS 
troop mobilization would revolve around activation of the additional combat 
and service units for which war planning then provided. These included 
ten chemical regiments and eighteen chemical service type companies. 

Six of the regiments were officer-manned reserve organizations; four 
were designated as National Guard units and were allotted to corps areas 
(but not to individual states) for inclusion in mobilization planning. These, 

3 The 1 st Chemical Regiment was at this time wholly inactive. 



with the two regiments classed as Regular Army organizations, provided 
a total of twelve chemical regiments, the maximum combat chemical strength 
contemplated under full mobilization. These units were assigned to GHQ 
Reserve in the proportion of two regiments for each field army. The service 
companies on the other hand were intended for assignment organically to 
armies in the proportion of one field laboratory, one maintenance company, 
and one depot company to each army. This allocation of chemical troops 
upon mobilization had been provided for by the War Department in 1931, 
in a directive which with minor variations was the basis for 1939 planning. 4 

Originally, definite mobilization dates were set for these regiments 
and service companies. 5 This was later modified to leave open the date 
of activating chemical units under the Protective Mobilization Plan. The 
193 1 instructions already referred to thus provided for the selection of 
chemical units for activation "depending upon their relative state or or- 
ganization and training." It was anticipated that at least two regiments 
together with appropriate service units would qualify for activation at 
about the time each field army mobilized. 

There were two reasons for deferring a decision of the exact mobiliza- 
tion date for chemical troop units. First, there was general agreement that 
other types of combat units would be more urgently needed in the initial 
stages of an essentially defensive protective mobilization; second, there was 
continuing uncertainty within the War Department as to the exercise of 
combat functions by the CWS. 

The Question of Combat Functions 

Although prewar planning called for activating twelve chemical regi- 
ments under full mobilization, a situation had developed within the War 
Department which now effectively debarred activation of any chemical 
combat troops. Even though some increased War Department interest in 
the offensive employment of toxic gas had accompanied the rise of mili- 
tarism in Europe, the combatants did not resort to gas warfare when the 
war began. By the spring of 1940 military campaigns of striking success 
had been fought in Europe without recourse to the gas weapon. This devel- 
opment, which was contrary to many expectations, was taken to justify 

*Ltr, TAG to All Corps Area and Dept Cmdrs ei al. f 4 Mar 31, sub: Allocation and Organiza- 
tion of Cml Troops. AG 320.2 CWS (2-9-31) (Misc.) M-C 

5 Ltr, TAG to C CWS, 19 Dec 30, sub: Provisions for additional Chemical Units that may be 
required in a major emergency. AG 381 (11—28-30) (Misc.) C. 



a detailed re-examination of gas warfare organization and planning within 
the American service. 6 

In a plan proposed by the War Department General Staff as a result 
of a study of this subject in 1940, it was observed that the "Chemical 
Warfare Service has been permitted since 1920 to organize and train chem- 
ical troops armed with weapons developed solely for the purpose of pro- 
jecting chemicals." 7 The Chief, CWS, General Baker, objecting to such 
phraseology, replied: "This function was definitely assigned to it by law, 
which has required that they be so organized and trained under War De- 
partment orders." 8 

The mission of chemical troops was "to supplement the arms in the 
tactical employment of smoke, incendiary material and nontoxic agents." 9 
From the CWS viewpoint, this was merely an interim function; the real 
reason for the existence of special gas troops was to insure means for 
waging large-scale gas warfare once use of the gas weapon had been 
initiated by an enemy. There was thus to be considered two missions for 
chemical combat troops; first, a necessarily limited pre-gas warfare mis- 
sion of supporting military operations with nontoxic chemicals; and second, 
unrestricted employment of chemicals after the gas warfare phase of combat 
had begun. 

Chemical troops were at this time (1940) armed with mortars, Livens 
projectors, chemical cylinders, irritant candles, and chemical land mines. 10 
The projector and the cylinder were generally considered to be in need 
of improvement, and the 4.2-inch chemical mortar was in fact developed 
as the result of CWS effort to increase the capability of chemical troops 
to discharge nonpersistent gas. Yet production of this mortar — then re- 
garded as the primary weapon of chemical troops — had been suspended 
since 1935, and after the lapse of some five years the 81-mm. mortar had 
been designated as the standard weapon for chemical troops. This arrange- 

6 Memo, Capt C. K. Gailey for ACofS WPD, 7 May 40, sub: CWS Program for National 
Defense. WPD 165-16. 

7 Ltr, TAG to C CWS, 2 Jul 40, sub: Combat Functions Now Exercised by the CWS. AG 
320.2 (6-19-40) M-^C. 

8 1st Ind, 12 Jul 40, to Ltr, TAG to C CWS, 2 Jul 40, sub: Combat Functions Now Exercised 
by CWS. CWS 320.2/21. 

9 Ltr, TAG to All Corps Area and Dept Comdrs et al., 4 Mar 31, sub: Allocation and Organi- 
zation of Cml Troops. AG 320.0 CWS (2-9-31) (Misc.) M-C. 

10 (i)Chemical Warfare Service Field Manual, Vol. I, Tactics and Technique, 1 Aug 38. (2) 
Augustin M. Prentiss, Chemicals in War (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1937), pp. 
346-83. (3) Alden H. Waitt, Gas Warfare (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1943), pp. 



ment was unsatisfactory to the Chief, CWS, who maintained that the 8i-mm. 
mortar was technically inadequate for major gas operations. 

A settlement of this disagreement between the General Staff and the 
Chief, CWS, was aimed at in the 1940 proposal, which was "designated to 
relieve the Chemical Warfare Service of its combat functions" and dis- 
tribute these among infantry, cavalry, and engineer troops. The branches 
would then determine military characteristics of weapons needed to under- 
take gas warfare missions within their appropriate spheres of tactical oper- 
ation. The CWS pointed out that some of the conclusions advanced to 
support this proposal were tenuous. 11 Both the Infantry and the Cavalry 
expressed reluctance to undertake large-scale gas operations. Disagreement 
also developed within the War Department General Staff itself. 12 The net 
result was a decision which cleared the matter temporarily in the General 
Staff but which was far from satisfactory to the CWS. 

Ensuing instructions were to the effect that the CWS would retain its 
combat functions, but that "combat units of Chemical Warfare Service 
will be limited to those now in being and future augmentations of the Army 
will make no provision for additional units of this character." The Chief, 
CWS, was at the same time directed to "determine and report upon his 
future needs for Reserve officers with the possibility of reducing the enroll- 
ment in the two Chemical Warfare Service ROTC units, or if need be, the 
elimination of one of the units. 13 

At a time when mobilization of the Army was moving forward at a 
rapid pace, this order confronted the Chemical Warfare Service with diffi- 
cult questions about the future of a substantial number of Reserve officers 
who had been trained for active duty with chemical regiments. Another 
consideration which affected these units was the decision, arrived at earlier 
that the regiment was not the most satisfactory type of wartime organization 
for special gas troops. Instead of the regiment, the battalion was determined 
to be the largest tactical unit that could be utilized effectively for controlling 
chemical weapons operations. 

The latter decision did not affect the status of the Reserve regiments. 
Actually the regimental organization provided an ideal peacetime arrange- 
ment, since it permitted an effective chain of command to supervise inactive 
duty training and facilitated the attachment of nontactical Reserve officers 

11 See Note 8, above. 

12 Papers relating to Aiis staff study were filed in WPD 4286. 
" Ltr, AGO to C CWS and CofOrd, 15 Jan 41, sub: Combat Functions Exercised by CWS. 

AG 320.2 (8-27-40) M-C-M. 



to military units for instructional purposes. The Reserve regiments were 
widely distributed geographically and the officers assigned to them were 
relatively well trained. Although the regiments were destined never to be 
mobilized, as war grew imminent they became increasingly active not only 
in perfecting their own readiness for mobilization, but also in aiding in the 
chemical warfare training of other civilian components. 

Although the 1940 staff proposals referred to above had to do with 
the exercise of combat functions by the Chemical Warfare Service, the crux 
of this matter was armament. The question of the official status of the 
4.2-inch chemical mortar had been brought up so frequently by the CWS 
that it was almost continuously under study by the General Staff after 
1935. 14 

When the Army was reorganized after World War I, it was assumed 
that war gases for the most part would be discharged by devices that 
differed essentially from conventional military weapons. But the later trend 
of munitions development was toward the conventional, rather than away 
from it. In 1940 the CWS was contending that no weapon was as useful 
in the tactical employment of gas as the 4.2-inch mortar. Yet there was 
nothing so technical about this mortar as to preclude its use by either infan- 
trymen or artillerymen. 

The G-4 position, repeatedly affirmed, was that standard and not special 
weapons should serve for chemical operations; and that since the combat 
arms used these standard weapons with explosive charges, there was no 
reason why they could not use the same weapons when loaded with gas 
and smoke charges. This view was summed up by Brig. Gen. George P. 
Tyner, ACofS, G-4: "I am against organizing 'chemical troops/ Why not 
use Infantry or Field Artillery to throw chemical ammunition? Another 
branch of the Army in the field is not necessary." 15 The Tyner view was 
in line with the military principle of simplicity: one less supply channel, 
one less organization in the chain of command, one less insignia in the 
combat zone, and, in the case of the chemical mortar, one less weapon to 
contend with. These all were worthy ends. 

Yet the CWS was not convinced that the solution to the problem of 
gas warfare was as simple as G-4 maintained. Gas was a tricky weapon 
and its employment required special training not given by other branches. 
The 81-mm. mortar, which G-4 wished to substitute for the 4.2-inch chem- 

11 Representative staff action on such papers Can be noted in G— 4/29895— i. 

15 See penciled note in General Tyner's writing, initialed by him and dated September 1939. 
In G— 4/29895-1. 



ical mortar, was unsatisfactory as a means of projecting nonpersistent gas. 
On both these points the staff view differed from the CWS view. As far 
as the General Staff was concerned, they were closed issues in the spring 
of 1941, although the CWS never accepted their closure as final. As long 
as the General Staff maintained its position, the CWS could not activate 
the chemical combat units called for by prewar mobilization plans. 

Action toward relieving the impasse between the General Staff and the 
CWS on the question of chemical combat troops was initiated by General 
Porter not long after his appointment as Chief, CWS. This took the shape 
of a formal recommendation of 26 July 1941 that each of the two active 
chemical weapons companies within the zone of interior (at Edgewood 
Arsenal and at Fort Benning) be expanded into battalions and equipped 
with 4.2-inch mortars. 16 This communication, with the concurrences of 
G~3, G-4, and the War Plans Division, was hand-carried to the Office of 
the Chief of Staff. In the course of subsequent staff discussion, however, the 
Porter proposal encountered objections, particularly from G-4 who now 
held out for armament of the battalions with the 81-mm. mortar. The 
matter was finally resolved by General Marshall, who approved activation 
of the two battalions and directed the Chief, CWS, to include in fiscal 
year 1943 estimates funds to equip these two battalions with 4.2-inch 
mortars. 17 Formal instructions to this effect were issued by the War Depart- 
ment on 10 September 1941. 

This action clarified a question that had been of paramount concern 
to the Chemical Warfare Service for half a dozen years and which was 
seriously impeding training on the eve of the war. That the decision of 
the Chief of Staff was well taken is evident from the battle record estab- 
lished by this weapon in firing high explosive and smoke shells. The incident 
affords an interesting example of the willingness of General Marshall to 
hear the presentation of the chief of an Army service and on occasion to 
overrule staff action. 

Chemical Service Units 

Although the War Department General Staff repeatedly challenged the 
need for chemical combat troops, it did not object to "service" type chemical 

16 (i) See above j Chapter IlJ (2) Memo, C CWS for Cof S, 26 Jul 41, sub: Cml Troops. CWS 

17 See memo for record on retained copy of Memo, G-3 for TAG, 5 Sep 41, sub: Cml Troops. 
In G-3/46556. 


Troops of 3D Chemical Mortar Battalion, firing 4.2-inch mortars in le 
Tholy area, France, October 1944. 

units. Action to relieve the CWS of combat functions was in fact ration- 
alized by a desire to enable the service to "devote full time to the organiza- 
tion and training of service troops required to perform essential service 
functions/' 18 

Three types of chemical service units were authorized at the commence- 
ment of the emergency period: laboratory, maintenance, and depot com- 
panies. These companies were organized on paper for many years but only 
one, the 412th Chemical Depot Company, had ever been activated. In the 
spring of 1940, when it became apparent that augmentation of PMP 
would soon necessitate the mobilization of a number of these units, the 
CWS initiated a study to determine the adequacy of the existing organiza- 
tional setup in meeting the wartime service and supply functions of the 
branch. Reasons for this action were partly military and partly technical. 

The structure of chemical organizations in 1940 still bore the impress 
of 1918. Yet as the new war developed abroad it became apparent that 
many concepts of the earlier war were outmoded. Among the new realities, 

18 See Note 13 above. 



White Phosphorus From 4.2-Inch Mortars falling on enemy-occupied town 
of le Tboly, France, October 1944. 

the most important with respect to chemical warfare was the growing 
dominance of air power. The range of gas was no longer held to the 
extreme range of artillery. Strategic bombardment implied that the entire 
communication zone as well as points in the zone of interior could be 
struck with gas. Nor was the mass of the attack to be limited by the 
quantitative restrictions imposed by ground methods. The prospects of gas 
warfare enlarged rapidly with expanding air power, and the defensive 
responsibilities of the Chemical Warfare Service increased in proportion. 

CWS technical developments in the field of protection against gas 
meanwhile, had advanced so far as to suggest that the whole problem 
of technical field service for ground warfare be reviewed. Means were being 
perfected for impregnating and reimpregnating the uniform to afford pro- 
tection against mustard gas vapor, yet no organizational provision had been 
made for accomplishing this in the field. As the scope of the problem of 
contamination (the quick destruction of persistent gas), increased with the 
rise of bombing capabilities, new techniques appeared for decontamination. 
Laboratory, maintenance, and depot units also required study in the light 



of recent operations in Europe. This entire task was assigned to a board 
of officers known as the Service Units Board. 19 

After two months of careful study the Service Units Board submitted 
a report which provided a working basis for the subsequent organization 
and training of all but one of the CWS service units employed by the 
ground and supply forces. 20 The board proposed the organization of two 
units hitherto unauthorized — the impregnating company and the decon- 
taminating company. It redefined the functions of laboratory, maintenance, 
and depot companies. Tables of Organization and Equipment for all units 
were drawn up. It recommended that one of each of these five service 
companies be organized, equipped, and trained immediately as pilot units 
to test the adequacy of its proposals as a basis for later activations. These 
recommendations were approved with minor changes by the Chief, CWS, 
on 13 August 1940. 21 

In analyzing the training requirements for CWS service companies, 
the Service Units Board indicated that each type of unit would require 
certain specially trained individuals for jobs that had no exact counterpart 
in civilian industry. Individual training of such men prior to M Day was 
proposed. For unit training the board proposed a twenty-week, three-phase 
program involving military training, technical operations, and field training. 
The scope of strictly military training recommended is interesting in the 
light of standards later found necessary. It was limited to that "required 
in the initial development of a military organization and the insuring of 
a degree of discipline that will make certain compliance with instructions. 22 

Activation of Ground Service Units 

Three new chemical service companies were activated in 1940 for duty 
with ground forces, in accordance with the recommendation of the Service 
Units Board. These were: 

10th Company (Maintenance) activated at Edgewood Arsenal, 1 July 

19 The board was activated under OC CWS SO 25,6 May 40. 

w The exception was the smoke generator company, which was not proposed by the Service 
Units Board and which when finally organized functioned rather as a combat unit. 

21 Proceedings of a Board of Officers designated as the ''Service Units Board," 2 July 1940. 
General Baker's approval of 13 August 1940 appears at end of document CWS 381/313, Special, 

H Ibid. 



ist Chemical Company (Laboratory) activated at Edgewood Arsenal, 
i August 1940. 

ist Chemical Company (Decontamination) activated at Fort Eustis, 
Va., 1 August i94o. 23 

An impregnating company was not provided at this time because mobile 
impregnating apparatus was not yet standardized. With this exception, the 
1940 activations provided opportunities to test out the organizational and 
training requirements of the several types of chemical service units, inasmuch 
as one depot company had previously been activated. 

The experience thus gained was valuable in connection with the activa- 
tion in the summer of 1941 of the next group of chemical units. This group 
included one of each of the five types of units then authorized. Three of 
them — the 3d Laboratory, 3d Maintenance, and 3d Depot Companies — 
had been constituted in 1935 and assigned to the Eighth Corps Area for 
mobilization. Actually only the 3d Maintenance and the 3d Depot Compa- 
nies were activated in the Eighth Corps Area at Fort Sam Houston; the 
laboratory unit was activated at Edgewood Arsenal. The ist Chemical 
Impregnating Company and the 2d Chemical Decontamination Company, 
which had been constituted in 1940, were also activated at Edgewood 
Arsenal. 24 

The procedure followed in organizing these 1940-41 units was to 
supply the new organization with a cadre of trained personnel drawn from 
one of the companies stationed at Edgewood Arsenal or Fort Benning. 
Fillers were then supplied from the Edgewood replacement center or were 
shipped from reception centers directly to the unit. Because of the leisurely 
rate at which chemical units were then being mobilized, unit training pre- 
sented no serious problem. 

Plans jot Air Service Units 

The looming importance of aerial warfare necessitated consideration 
of air as well as of ground organizations for chemical service functions. 
This matter had already been studied by the GHQ Air Force and T/O l s 
had been prepared for organizations believed best suited for air needs. 
The general scheme for chemical service units within the Air Corps was 

M The decontamination company was comprised of Negro troops. 

"All of the chemical units activated in 1940 and 1941 were redesignated after the service units 
program was enlarged. 



based on an analysis of requirements of the GHQ Air Force for CWS 
personnel, drawn up at Langley Field, Va., 28 January 1939. 25 Under this 
plan, a section from a chemical platoon, air base, was provided for each 
operating GHQ air base. These detachments were to be trained in chemical 
supply and maintenance functions. They were also to be prepared to conduct 
the chemical warfare training of tactical units. Their supply functions were 
to include the operation of chemical service points, where chemicals could 
be delivered directly to airplanes or poured into tanks before attachment. 
The plan also included the operation of air base distributing points, which 
were small chemical depots located near bases or advanced airdromes. It 
was not foreseen that units larger than platoons would be needed at oper- 
ating air bases. 

Rapid expansion of air power after 1940 necessitated activation of many 
additional chemical platoons for the Air Corps. Cadres and fillers for these 
units in most instances came from Edgewood Arsenal. In March 1941 
a chemical service company, aviation, was set up for each numbered air 
force. Thereafter the separate chemical platoons serving bases within the 
air force area were drawn into the company organizations. 

The organizational plan for air chemical units was at this time alto- 
gether tentative since the U.S. Army had no combat experience upon which 
such planning could be based. The CWS was interested in developing the 
project and was concerned with the technical training of the troops involved. 
But the determination of unit requirements devolved upon the GHQ Air 
Force and later upon the Army Air Forces. 

Replacement Training at Edgewood Arsenal 

Organization of a CWS Replacement Center at Edgewood Arsenal was 
directed by the War Department in 1940 in accordance with a scheme 
which provided for a general opening of replacement centers. 26 The replace- 
ment center system, which became operative in the spring of 1941, changed 
completely the peacetime arrangement for the introductory military training 
of enlisted personnel. Before the beginning of mobilization, recruit in- 
struction had been handled by the units themselves and was an accepted 
feature of the general Army training program. The prewar replacement 

M Rpc, Lt Col E. Montgomery, CmlO, GHQ Air Force, 28 Jan 39, sub: Analysis of the Require- 
ments of the GHQ Air Force for Pers of the CWS. CWS 314.7 Personnel File. 

2fi Ltr, TAG to Chiefs of Arms and Services et aL, 23 Oct 40, sub: Replacement Centers. AG 
680.1 (10-15-40) M-C-M. 



plans called for the establishment of replacement training centers to provide 
inductees with such basic military and elementary technical training as 
to enable them to be assimilated by Army units without difficulty. The 
units, freed from the necessity of giving basic training, could then concen- 
trate on the job of preparing as teams for combat operations. 27 The supply 
of trained enlisted replacements was carefully planned under mobilization 
regulations to avoid a difficulty which had been serious in World War I — 
inability to maintain combat organizations at full strength by means of a 
steady supply of replacements provided through special installations or- 
ganized for that purpose. While the planning, in principle, was sound, 
the replacement center system in practice left much to be desired because 
planning sights were set too low. The primary, long-range mission of the 
replacement centers was to furnish loss replacements; that is, to supply 
trained soldiers to fill vacancies as they developed in military units. As the 
number of centers and their expansion capacity were limited, the rapid 
expansion of the Army after Pearl Harbor compelled the War Department 
to send most inductees directly from reception centers to units in training. 
Although the training of filler replacements to bring newly mobilized units 
to authorized strength was also a replacement training center function, 
the centers were never able to meet both demands satisfactorily. 28 

Administrative control of the replacement centers was retained by the 
War Department which set up authorized capacities and regulated the 
movement of men into and out of the centers. In this way it was able to 
co-ordinate the utilization of manpower by military components with 
troop bases. Management of training within the centers was left to corps 
area commanders, except for the Signal, Ordnance, Armored, and CWS 
centers; control of the latter was retained by the War Department and 
exercised, in the case of the Edgewood Arsenal center, through the Chief, 

The CWS Replacement Center with a capacity of 1,000 trainees, was 
the smallest of the twenty-one ground and service replacement centers 
opened in 1941. 29 Its mission was to receive, train, and forward to destina- 
tion enlisted replacements for all CWS units. 30 The capacity authorized 

" Palmer, Wiley, and Keast Procurement and Training of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 170-71. 
* R (i) Ibid., p. 172. (2) WD Mob Reg 3-1, par 336(1), 23 Nov 40. 

w (i) Ltr, AGO to Chiefs of Arms and Services, et aL, 25 Oct 40, sub: Replacement Centers. 
AG 680.1 (10-15-40) M-C-M. (2) Biennial Report of the Chief of Staff of the United States 
Army to the Secretary of War, July j, 1939, to June 30, 1941, Chart 7. 

30 CWS PMP, 1940, par i 2 h. AG 381, Mob Plan. 



was adequate for the training load foreseen under the then current CWS 
Protective Mobilization Plan, since a trainee capacity of i,ooo meant (at 
least in theory) that with the eight-week training schedule then in effect, 
some 6,000 replacements could be turned out annually. Organization of 
the center was to be completed by 15 February 1941, or one month prior 
to the opening date. Assignment of instructors to receive special advanced 
training for this duty was indicated. Accordingly a special Replacement 
Center Officers' Course, of nine weeks' duration, was conducted at the 
Chemical Warfare School from 15 December 1940 to 15 February 1941. 

This course, in which fifty-two student officers were enrolled, broke 
with the past and enabled the school to prepare CWS personnel for specific 
branch operations. The course was designed to broaden the base of the 
individual's technical knowledge and at the same time prepare him to 
function as a replacement center trainer. However, subjects having to do 
strictly with training accounted for only 79 out of a total of 364 hours 
of instruction. 31 Applicable mobilization training regulations were not 
studied exhaustively, while the emphasis placed on gas defense training 
suggested that the school was still leaning heavily upon its peacetime cur- 
riculum. Yet the course was undoubtedly helpful in preparation for replace- 
ment center duty. 

The Replacement Center Officers' Course raised an issue which certainly 
was not new in the Army but which was to plague the CWS continually 
during the war. A basic question in training was: Does the training fit the 
man for the job? The immediate corollary was: Is the man then assigned 
to duty for which he has been trained? The answer to the latter question 
would in many instances be no. Much training effort was wasted and 
standards of performance were at times unnecessarily low because students, 
after being trained for one type of duty, were assigned to another. An 
instance is seen in this early course at the Chemical Warfare School. Of 
the fifty-two officers attending the Replacement Center course, only sev- 
enteen were assigned to duty at the replacement center when it opened. 32 

Lt. Col. Henry Linsert, a Regular Army CWS officer, arrived at Edge- 
wood Arsenal early in December 1940 to organize and take command of 
the replacement center. A site for the installation was selected in the troop 
area previously included in Fort Hoyle, where the necessary barracks, mess 
halls, and company administration buildings — seventy-nine structures in 

31 The complete curriculum of this course appears below, in Appendix F. 

32 Interv, CmlHO with Col Donald E. Yanka, 13 Jul 51, Colonel Yanka was a student in the 
Replacement Center Officers' Course. 



all — were erected. 33 A pistol range was constructed and other facilities 
were staked out for later completion. The training organization provided 
for one battalion of four lettered companies (A, B, C, and D) plus a 
headquarters company, a band, and an enlisted specialists' school. In order 
to activate these units, seventy-four noncommissioned officers and thirty-two 
privates were furnished as cadres from CWS units then stationed at Edge- 
wood Arsenal. 

As of 29 April 1941 the actual trainee strength at the Replacement 
Training Center was 701 white and 226 Negro soldiers, 34 The training plan 
provided for assignment of up to 225 men to each lettered company, which 
carried also a permanent cadre of 3 (later 6) officers and 25 enlisted 
men. Training began on 15 March and continued until this entire group 
completed the prescribed course of instruction. At the end of the first 
training cycle, 648 soldiers had been processed at the replacement center 
and were shipped (June 1941) to various CWS units in the zone of interior. 
The second cycle produced in September 652 men, and the third cycle, 
completed in December, 447 more. Thus in 1941 the inductees receiving 
basic military training at Edgewood Arsenal before assignment to chemical 
units totaled 1,747. However the strength of CWS units shot up during 
the year from 1,506 to 5,591, so that the aggregate of 1941 replacement 
trainees was far short of the total number of soldiers required. As a result, 
many chemical units were obliged to accept as fillers substantial numbers 
of recruits who came directly from reception centers and who had to be 
absorbed without preliminary military training. 

Replacement Training Programs 

A perennial problem with every technical service is whether the accent 
in training should be placed upon the military or technical aspects of 
training. Both types were necessary. Yet the growing ferocity of modern 
warfare has tended to increase the emphasis that must be placed upon the 
purely military training if the technical soldier is to survive and function 
in the combat zone. In branches such as the CWS the strictly military side 
of the training program was necessarily subject to close staff supervision, 
while the more technical aspects of training were properly left to the branch 

33 Fort Hoyle was a field artillery station maintained within the Edgewood Arsenal military 
reservation until 1940. 

34 S. J. Hemleben and Louis Truncellito, CWS Summary of History of Training Through June 
1945 (Revised) p. 79, MS, 



concerned. Standing prewar instructions on this subject were embodied in 
War Department General Orders No. 7, 1927: 

Military training is required for all recruits of noncombatant branches immediately 
upon their entrance into service. The responsibility for such training is placed upon 
the immediate commanding officer of each recruit. . . . This training will be regarded 
as purely military training, and as such should be conducted concurrently with special 
instruction and performance of technical duties pertaining to the branch to which the 
recruit is assigned. 

In order to coordinate training among the arms and services under this 
general directive, a Board on Revision of Training Methods studied this 
matter and submitted a report to the War Department in 1934 which led 
to the publication a year later of the first series of mobilization training 
programs (MTP's). These early MTP's merely formalized the application 
of General Orders No. 7; they represented very largely the views of the 
several arms and services on allotment of time between basic military and 
branch technical training. 

The training directive followed initially at the CWS Replacement Center 
was MTP 3-1 , 18 September 1940, "For chemical regiments at unit training 
centers and for chemical troop replacements at enlisted replacement centers." 
This MTP, like all early ones, was admittedly tentative and subject to 
development in the light of experience. A revision of this program, under- 
taken while the first training cycle was in progress, was ready for use 
at the beginning of the second training cycle in June 1941. A second 
revision was completed in September and remained in force until after 
replacement center activities were transferred from Edgewood Arsenal. 

The MTP used initially was unsatisfactory. It was designed to produce re- 
placements for chemical weapons companies, although few such companies 
were then in existence and War Department policy did not then contem- 
plate the formation of additional units of this type. Rather, the need was 
for fillers and loss replacements for chemical service companies and pla- 
toons, which required very different technical training from that provided 
for weapons units. 

Another objection to the early program was the insufficient time allowed 
for the replacement training cycle. This cycle was initially set at eight 
weeks. All men were assigned to basic companies for the first two weeks 
during which period they received identical training. During this time 
schooling was emphasized and some technical training was introduced. 
At the beginning of the third week promising trainees were screened out 



for specialized training while the remainder continued in basic companies 
for the "technical" phase of the program. 35 Under current requirement 
rates for occupational specialists, 20 percent of CWS enlisted personnel 
were needed as truck drivers, clerks, and cooks. 36 Accordingly a fifth of 
the early trainees were selected to attend the replacement center specialists' 
school during the technical training phase, where they were instructed in 
one of these military occupational specialties. 

It was found in practice that satisfactory development of the individual 
soldier could not be achieved within the time originally allotted. This was 
evident in connection with both military and technical training. More 
time was required for hardening and conditioning many inductees, while 
on the technical side more opportunity was needed for applicatory and 
group exercises. The same criticism of MTP's was made by other arms 
and services, so that in the fall of 1941 the replacement cycle was extended 
from eight to thirteen weeks. 37 Under the new setup, basic military training 
was emphasi2ed at the start of the course and was continued to some extent 
during the first eight weeks; technical training was spread over the first 
nine weeks; while the last three to four weeks were employed in special 
technical exercises. This general allocation of time was found to be satis- 
factory. Later improvements in the training program were in the direction 
of more realistic military training and more speciali2ed technical training. 
But it was now clear that, at this stage of mobili2ation, a well-indoctrinated 
replacement could be produced on a quarterly basis. 

Conduct of Replacement Training 

The group of young Reserve officers initially assigned to staff the re- 
placement center proved to be satisfactory. The enlisted cadre on the other 
hand was less adequate. It was provided largely by Company A, 2d Separate 
Chemical Battalion, a unit that already had been stripped of cadre material 
to meet earlier calls. When the requirement arose for 106 men to provide 
overhead for the replacement center there simply were not that many men 
available of the type needed for this exacting duty. The men assigned were 
satisfactory although unseasoned soldiers, most of them without instruc- 

35 MTP 3-1, 23 Nov 40. 

36 Ltr, TAG to Chiefs of Arms and Servs et al., 25 May 41, sub: Changes in Incls. AG 324.71 
( 4-2 1-4 1 ) E-A. 

37 MTP3-3, 26 Nov 41. 



tional ability. A substantial number had to be replaced at the conclusion 
of the first training cycle. 

The usefulness of the initial cadre no doubt would have been increased 
had these men been given specialist training at the Chemical Warfare 
School in a course paralleling the Replacement Center Officers' Course. 
This was not done. However, a two-week Replacement Center NCO Course 
was conducted at the school between the ending of the first and the begin- 
ning of the second RTC training cycle (26 May-7 June 1941). The course 
record of this class reveals that the seventy-one hours of instruction included 
little training that was directly helpful to the thirty students who attended. 

Experience with the early training cycles clearly indicated that some 
inductees would be unable to undertake the standard course until after 
special development training. Defects most common were illiteracy, lan- 
guage difficulty, emotional instability, and physical defects. To accommo- 
date such individuals, a Special Training Company was organized on 15 
August 1941 in conformity with MTP 20-1. The unit consisted of two 
platoons, one for white and one for Negro troops. This RTC preparatory 
training had to be expanded with the growth of basic training activities; 
it was responsible for acclimating many men to military service who other- 
wise would have been rejected. 

Early replacement training at Edgewood Arsenal was handicapped 
by the lack of training aids, training literature, and classroom facilities. 
Trainees were armed with the pistol, a poor substitute for the rifle in 
recruit training. Instructors were, at the outset, inexperienced in high-gear 
instructional procedure. Because training time was not efficiently allocated, 
graduates had to learn after joining chemical service units much that they 
should have been taught at the replacement center. Yet the 1941 trainees 
on the whole did compare favorably with those who later passed through 
the more highly developed CWS Training Center. Two reasons explain 
this fact. Most of the 1941 inductees proved to be of especially high caliber. 
And the instructors made up in enthusiasm what they lacked in experience. 

The practice of officially referring to the installations as replacement 
training centers began in the spring of 1941. Previously, mobilization plans, 
mobilization training programs, and mobilization regulations had all omitted 
the word "training." The final adoption of the term served to emphasize 
the fact that training was the dominant function of the centers. 

As training improved, it became increasingly apparent that the CWS 
center was inappropriately located. Edgewood Arsenal was selected in the 
first place because of the concentration of research and development as 



well as school and troop activities at this station. Some land was available, 
and a few barracks; yet neither area nor buildings were adequate to the 
needs of replacement training. Housing facilities could be supplemented 
by new construction, but there was no way to increase the land available 
for training purposes on narrow Gunpowder Neck. The limited number of 
ranges could not even meet requirements for CWS proving and experi- 
mental firing. Although a pistol range was developed, space was not 
available for a rifle range. The manufacturing activities of the arsenal were 
expanding rapidly during 1941 under priorities which impeded the devel- 
opment of needed replacement training facilities. Had requirements for 
CWS basic training remained at the projected levels of 1940, it might 
still have been possible to wedge this activity into the multiplicity of func- 
tions that were being undertaken on the constricted Edgewood reservation; 
but by the fall of 1941 it already was apparent that much more than the 
current capacity of the training center would be required. 

The Chief, Chemical Warfare Service, was informed early in December 
1941 that CWS replacement training capacity would have to be increased 
shortly to 2,430 trainees. 38 This step became necessary largely because of a 
recently approved increase in chemical service troops to meet expanding 
AAF requirements. The War Department wanted the additional replace- 
ment training load to be undertaken without construction of additional bar- 
racks. This could only be accomplished by the removal of an appropriate 
number of troops, including one Field Artillery battalion, from the Edge- 
wood Arsenal reservation. In addition, it was necessary to project the con- 
struction of a number of new facilities, both administrative and instructional, 
in order properly to accommodate the greatly increased training activity. 
Planning was in progress when the Pearl Harbor attack occurred. 

Gas Defense Training: 1939-41 

During the period of limited emergency, the U.S. Army mobilized thirty- 
six divisions and activated seventy air force groups — together a phenomenal 
achievement. With these developments the Chief, CWS, was closely con- 
cerned as technical adviser to the War Department on gas defense training. 
It was his responsibility to counteract the inevitable tendency to neglect, in 
the rush of such rapid mobilization, a type of training for which need was 
not immediate. It was his job to see that a serious flaw — vulnerability to gas 

38 Memo, G-3 for C CWS, 2 Dec 41, sub: Expansion of CWS RTC Trainee Capacity. 



attack — did not develop in the course of preparations for battle. He had to 
push a military specialty, yet do it with tact and with a nice appreciation of 
larger objectives. 

There was no lack, in 1939 of definite channels of responsibility for gas 
defense training. Under peacetime procedures the War Department set the 
objectives, the Chemical Warfare Service provided certain of the means, 
corps area commanders supervised training, and unit commanders were re- 
sponsible for its execution. But this originally simple arrangement became 
more complicated as growing mobilization resulted in the appearance of an 
increasing number of ranking unit commanders with varying views as to how 
gas warfare directives should be interpreted. 

The over-all War Department objective was stated as: "Our peacetime 
preparation in chemical warfare will be based on opposing effectively any 
enemy employing chemical agents and weapons. 39 This was amplified, as 
previously noted, by detailed instructions on gas defense training. 40 

A field interpretation and amplification of instructions on chemical war- 
fare training appeared in a training memorandum issued by Headquarters, 
Sixth Corps Area, in December 1940. 41 This monumental directive presented 
a complete picture of chemical warfare training as presumably undertaken 
in the U.S. Army at that time. The memorandum meticulously considered 
every detail to insure observance of all instructions that bore in any way on 
the subject. Full compliance would have been gratifying in the CWS since 
troops so trained would unquestionably have been capable of meeting any 
enemy who chose to resort to gas warfare. 

The Sixth Corps Area memorandum represents the high tide of training 
under the corps area system. The old Army had taken such directives in 
stride and had mastered the technique of according them a degree of com- 
pliance which satisfied higher authority. The new Army, on the other hand, 
was inclined to heed the full letter of formal instructions, a feat which in 
practice was seldom possible. 

In peacetime training the CWS sought to cultivate respect for, while 
averting unreasoning fear of, war gases. This aim had been rather generally 
accomplished as long as training time was not at a great premium; but once 
the momentum of mobilization began to build up, unit commanders became 

ao Ltr, TAG to All Corps Area and Dept Comdrs et al., 24 Jul 30, sub: Cml Warfare Tng and 
Tactical Assignment of Cml Warfare Troops to GHQ Reserve. AG 321.94 (5—17-30) (Misc.) 

40 Basic Field Manual, Vol. I, Ch. 8, 31 Dec 37- 

41 Tng Memo 13, Hq Sixth Corps Area, 4 Dec 40. See below, Appendix G. 



increasingly reluctant to spare time for the degree of gas defense training 
which the CWS considered the minimum for realistic war preparation. In 
order to decide where emphasis should be placed, officers who never before 
had given the matter serious thought began to ask themselves what the 
prospects actually were of gas warfare. 

The views of most military men on gas warfare as an offensive weapon 
were essentially pragmatic. Was it really worth while? There were two 
schools of thought on the matter. One group held that gas was a revolu- 
tionary weapon, that its possibilities should be exploited, and that it was 
folly for the nation to deny itself the fullest advantage of this or any other 
new development of military science. The other felt that experience of the 
war in Europe to date indicated that gas had only limited application in 
modern military operations, that it was always ineffective against good de- 
fense, and that it was an adjunct to positional warfare — a type of warfare 
never congenial to American military thinking. But while offensive gas war- 
fare had both its advocates and opponents, no responsible officer questioned 
the need for gas defense training. The question was: How little training 
would meet essential needs ? 

Chemical Warfare Training of Ground Forces 

As mobilization speeded up, a fundamental change began to appear in 
the old relationship between the CWS and the unit commanders directly 
responsible for gas defense training. Originally responsibility had been 
channeled from the War Department, through corps areas, to units. The 
first change in this pattern occurred in 1935, when air tactical units came 
under control of the GHQ Air Force. Training of ground force units was 
assumed by General Headquarters, U.S. Army, when that organization was 
activated in July 1940. Thereafter, unit commanders were reached, on 
matters relating to antigas defense, through one of these headquarters. 

Only a skeleton GHQ staff moved into the Army War College in the 
summer of 1940. No chemical officer was included in General McNair's 
special staff until 1941, and GHQ continued without a formal chemical staff 
section until 10 January 1942. 42 This reflected General McNair's attitude on 
gas warfare and adversely influenced gas defense training of ground units 
throughout 1940 and 1941. 

42 (1) Greenfield, Palmer, and Wiley, The Organization of Ground Combat Troops, p. 26. (2) 
Interv, CmlHO with Col Thomas J. Ford, 11 Jan. 56. Colonel Ford was made Ground Chemical 
Officer in January 1942. 



Although the GHQ Chief of Staff was sympathetic to limited training 
in defense against attack, he insisted that such training should not be ex- 
tended to a point where it might interfere with his primary mission of train- 
ing major elements of the field forces within the continental United States. 
General McNair believed that artillery was the most suitable ground arm 
for employing gas munitions; but he seriously questioned the advisability, 
from a military viewpoint, of resorting to gas warfare under any circum- 
stances. He saw no merit in special gas troops and he declined to permit the 
introduction of gas situations into the large-scale maneuvers that were 
conducted in 1940 and 1 941. 43 

Staff chemical officers, meanwhile as called for by existing tables o£ 
organization, were regularly provided for divisions and corps as these units 
were mobilized. To each of the four field armies then in existence and to 
each of the newly activated corps was assigned a senior CWS officer with 
considerable training experience. National Guard divisions took the field 
with their own chemical staff officers, many of whom were graduates of 
prewar courses at the Chemical Warfare School. The unit organizational 
setup for chemical warfare training of ground forces was adequate; yet 
training accomplishments during the period of partial mobilization were not 
satisfactory to the CWS. To a considerable degree this situation was the 
result of General McNair's attitude on gas warfare. 

GHQ was primarily concerned with unit rather than replacement train- 
ing, and it regarded gas defense training as essentially the latter type. 
During the early stage of mobilization, training of the individual soldier 
was exclusively the province of the War Department under the replacement 
training system. RTC training included a modicum of basic training in pro- 
tection against gas attack, the amount of time devoted to this subject ranging 
from four to ten hours according to the applicable mobilization training 
program. For example, MTP 6-1, 1940, for field artillery replacements, 
prescribed five hours of training, which was expected to develop: "An 
ability to mask quickly and to wear the mask while performing military 
duties; an ability to identify the more common chemical agents and a knowl- 
edge of the means of defense against them." 

The soldier processed through one of the twenty-one ground replace- 
ment centers thus presumably emerged with some idea of how to protect 

"(1) Ltr } Col Adrian St John, USA (Ret), to Hist Off OC CmlO, 21 Jun 51, no sub. (2) 
Ltr, OC CWS to CmlO Second Army, 19 Aug 41, no sub. CWS 354.2/101. (3) Addendum to 
Memo for Record on Memo, ACofS OPD for CofS USA, 13 Aug 42, sub: Revision in the 
Chemical Warfare Program. OPD 385 CWP Sec IIA (4-22). (4) Ford interv, 11 Jan 56. 


RTC Classroom Training. Soldiers in their second week of training learn 
how to identify different types of gases. 

himself under gas attack. As mobilization accelerated, however, increasing 
numbers of inductees had to be sent directly from reception centers to units 
without replacement center training. Instruction of these men in the rudi- 
ments of protection against war gases had therefore to be undertaken by 
unit commanders, usually with the assistance of unit gas personnel. Training 
of the latter, under standard operating procedure, was accomplished at 
special schools conducted by division and occasionally by corps chemical 

Anticipating that the training of regimental and battalion gas officers in 
such local schools would sometimes be difficult during the course of mobiliza- 
tion, the War Department announced a series of one-month classes at the 
Chemical Warfare School to provide this type of training. 44 In accordance 
with GHQ policy that the detail of students to service schools should be 
discretionary with unit commanders, no quotas were set. Thirteen of these 

44 Ltr, TAG to CGs of the Four Armies et aL, 7 Oct 40, sub: Tag of Regimental and Battalion 
Gas Officers. AG 210.63 CW Sch (9-25-40) M-M. 



classes conducted in 1941 graduated 686 unit gas officers, constituting a 
measurable contribution to the over-all gas defense program for the ground 

Individual training within units, as prescribed by War Department 
directives, was encouraged by GHQ. But, as indicated, when Army chemical 
officers proposed injection of gas situations into corps and army maneuvers, 
General McNair demurred. The formation of these large tactical units, the 
first in U.S. peacetime history, afforded opportunity to advance the final 
phase of chemical warfare training which previously had of necessity been 
neglected — that is, the culmination of individual and speciali2ed gas defense 
instruction in field operations where large bodies of troops encountered 
simulated gas attacks under conditions requiring the use of gas masks. The 
Chemical Warfare Service felt that such a test was necessary in order to 
ascertain the real status of gas discipline within the field forces as well as 
for rounding out the entire chemical warfare training program. Yet, in the 
view of GHQ, this goal was considerably less important than the immediate 
task of developing command leadership and operating facility within corps 
and armies. 

While the CWS supported as far as it could the position of chemical 
officers with field forces, the War Department General Staff was never in- 
clined at this stage to question the training policies of GHQ. In retrospect, 
it is clear that on this issue General McNair assumed a calculated risk which 
was justified by subsequent events, although at the time the CWS felt that 
an important feature of chemical warfare training was being unduly 

Army Air Forces Training 

The approach to gas defense training in the Army Air Forces differed 
in several particulars from that developed in the ground forces. Beginning 
with the organi2ation of the GHQ Air Force at Langley Field in 1935, able 
chemical officers were on duty with the highest air echelons. 45 Early appreci- 
ation of the importance of antigas protection of air bases led in 1936 to the 
conduct of a special Air Forces gas defense course at the Chemical Warfare 
School. The twenty air officers who graduated from this four-week course 
provided the nucleus for development of the GHQ Air Force gas protection 

45 After serving as instructor at the Air Tactical School, Maxwell Field, General Porter was on 
duty as air chemical officer at the time of his appointment as Chief, CWS, in 1941. 



Compared to the problems confronting the ground forces, gas protection 
of air installations was in some respects simplified. Field units had to pro- 
vide for defense against gas from both ground and air; air units were con- 
cerned only with the latter. Nevertheless, the AAF gave a great deal of 
thought to the protection of its bases against aerial gas attack. 

Attempts to immobilize American air power by the immediate bombing 
of advanced U.S. air bases were clearly foreseen as the opening operations 
of air warfare. Before the commencement of hostilities in Europe, thinking 
among Air officers — undoubtedly influenced by the doctrines of Giulio 
Douhet — inclined to the belief that the earliest employment of gas warfare 
would be in the attack on airdromes. 46 That gas was not used for this pur- 
pose in the early stages of World War II resulted in somewhat lessened 
apprehension, although the Army Air Forces was never willing to dismiss 
entirely the threat of an enemy attempt to neutralize the growing air power 
of the United States through a gas attack. The AAF meant to be reasonably 
prepared and therefore gas defense measures were given serious and con- 
tinued consideration, both under the GHQ Air Force and later, after air 
training became one of his functions, under the Chief of the AAF. 

In individual training of Army Air Forces soldiers, the replacement 
training system worked out more satisfactorily than was the case with ground 
forces. Practically all AAF inductees passed through air replacement train- 
ing centers, and therefore reached air units with some basic training in self- 
protection against war gases. MTP i-i (1940) prescribed six hours of in- 
struction in defense against chemical attack for all AAF inductees. Inevitably 
there were times when this training was slighted, but this was the exception 
rather than the rule. 

Because of the tremendous pressures under which AAF training was 
conducted, expecially in the early stages of mobilization, more advanced 
training in gas protection was necessarily limited. Schemes for the collective 
protection of airdomes were prepared and key personnel trained in operating 
procedures. A notable contribution to the advancement of individual and 
collective protection was the training of 385 air force officers in a series of 
seven Unit Gas Officers' classes conducted for the AAF by the Chemical 
Warfare School during 1941. The role of the Chemical Warfare Service in 

46 (r) Giulio Douhet's Air Warfare, translated by Mrs. Dorothy Benedict, was reproduced by 
the Air Corps in December 1933. Copy in Army Library. This work was seriously studied at the 
Air Corps Tactical School. (2) Wesley F. Craven and James L. Cate, eds., The Army Air Forces 
in World War II: Plans and Early Operations, January 1939 to August 1942 (Chicago: University 
of Chicago Press, 1948), p. 51. 



gas defense training within the Army Air Forces was one of advancing the 
program as much as possible within the limitation imposed by more urgent 
air training requirements. 

School Training 

Involvement in war between 1939 and 1941 followed a gradient so 
gradual that it is difficult to reconcile events as they occurred with those that 
had been foreseen under the protective mobilization plan. Mobilization of 
the initial protective force, the springboard for PMP, was actually accom- 
plished long before hostilities began. Yet operations of the Chemical War- 
fare School during the period of partial mobilization were not in accord 
with any section of the plan; and it is not possible to indicate a point at 
which implementation of the plan at the school did begin. 

Removal of the school from Edgewood Arsenal to a location more 
advantageous from a training viewpoint had been scheduled under earlier 
war plans although this provision was eliminated from the plan which was 
current when mobilization began. The Chemical Warfare School had been 
housed for two decades in a two- story, hollow tile structure having two 
classrooms on the upper floor and administration and faculty offices on the 
ground floor. An adjoining building of identical size was occupied by the 
reproduction plant and the school detachment. Nearby temporary structures, 
build in 1918, were used for housing and messing students and for other 
school needs. With the facilities available it was difficult for the school to 
accommodate more than one class at a time. 

The school commandant proposed, soon after the President's emergency 
proclamation in 1939, that steps be taken to increase the capacity of the 
school from fifty to one hundred students. 47 The War Department was 
reluctant to undertake the needed construction, since it was then seriously 
considering closing all service schools as a means of conserving officer 
strength. 48 Until this idea was dropped, no action was taken to relieve the 
school situation. However, in 1940, an enlargement program did get under 
way, which resulted in raising the school's capacity to two hundred students. 

Additional academic facilities were provided by erecting a well-designed 
permanent structure between the two original tile buildings, thus merging 

* T Ltr, Comdt CW School to C CWS, 18 Sep 39, sub: Additional Facilities. CW Sch 

48 Ltrs, TAG to C CWS, 7 Oct 38 and 18 Oct 39, sub: Schools. AG 352 (10-3-39) (10-9-39) 



them into one spacious school edifice. The more than thirty new buildings 
added in this period included adequate barracks for student officers, mess 
halls, and supply facilities. Demonstration and outdoor training areas were 
also improved. Although this development was somewhat belated and de- 
spite the fact that it applied principally to officer students, it did enable the 
school, by 1941, to take a more active part in the accelerating chemical 
warfare training program. 

The school staff and faculty at the beginning of the emergency period 
in 1939 included five CWS officers plus four officers attached from other 
components who served as part-time instructors. A year later the staff had 
increased to fourteen officers. There was no substantial change in this 
number during 1 941. 49 

The suspension of courses at special service schools on 1 February 1940 
did not affect the Chemical Warfare School. 50 This suspension enabled 
students who were attending courses longer than those given at Edgewood 
to participate in maneuvers in the spring of 1940. The Chemical Warfare 
School was permitted to begin its regular Line and Staff Course on 4 
February with a class composed principally of Reserve officers. This step 
proved fortunate since most of the members of this class soon were called 
to extended active duty. 

The 23d Line and Staff Officers class and the 13th Field Officers class 
conducted in 1940 were the last of these two series given at the Chemical 
Warfare School. Their termination by the War Department was in line with 
staff policy curtailing school attendance of Regular Army officers during the 
period of limited emergency. This marked the end of an era. Hereafter 
officer training at the Chemical Warfare School would concentrate on the 
preparation of emergency officers for war duty. 

Instruction of Reserve Officers 

On 27 August 1940 Congress authorized the calling of Reserve officers 
to active duty for periods of twelve consecutive months. 51 This in practice 
suspended the fourteen-day active duty arrangement which for years had 
been the mainspring of Reserve officer training. Had it been possible to fore- 
see at the time that most of the Reservists who were called up under this 
authority would continue on duty through a major war, more adequate pro- 

49 Class records, Chemical Warfare School. 
w Annual Rpt of SW to President, 1940, p. 63. 
" Annual Rpt of SW to President, 194 1, p. 73. 



vision for their initial training could have been made. But the Army was 
then thinking in terms of limited mobilization and was concentrating on 
the immediate task of training the large numbers of enlisted men who were 
about to enter military service under the Selective Service System. The train- 
ing of officers was not at this time given major consideration. 

Among the first Reserve officers called for extended active duty were 
members of the corps area assignment group needed for special staff duty 
with the ground and air units to be mobilized during the limited emergency 
period. These men were products of the peacetime Reserve officers' training 
program and many of them had military experience extending back to 
World War I. Although they were comparatively well advanced in training 
when called up, the CWS would nevertheless have profited by their attend- 
ance at a school course according to the plan generally followed in the 
training of other special staff officers assigned to the divisions that were 
activated in 1940 and 1941. 52 

The mobilization of so many corps area assignment group officers to 
meet air and ground force T/O requirements for unit chemical officers had 
a retarding effect on the activation of branch assignment Reservists, for 
whom need soon developed under the rapidly expanding chemical warfare 
procurement program. The ceiling which the War Department set on the 
number of CWS Reserve officers that could be placed on extended active 
duty was taken to apply to both branches of the Reserve; the CWS felt 
bound to meet all requests for unit chemical troops, so that branch require- 
ments were satisfied much more slowly than was desirable. 53 This situation 
directly affected the training of branch assignment personnel. By the time 
these officers were finally called to active duty, their services were so urgently 
needed that they could not be spared to attend basic or refresher courses 
prior to undertaking mobilization assignments. 

Lack of an attempt at systematic school training of CWS nonregular 
officers in preparation for mobilization duty marked not only the period of 
partial mobilization, but in fact extended throughout the entire war period. 
There were on active duty with the CWS, on 31 December 1940, 270 non- 
regular officers. Not more than half of these officers had ever attended any 
school course. Except for OCS training, the ratio of nongraduates to all 
officers on duty increased instead of declined in succeeding years. This 
situation apparently resulted from want of a clear CWS policy on the school- 

" Palmer, Wiley, and Keast, Procurement and Training of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 435-36. 
63 Interv, CmlHO with Col Geoffrey Marshall (former Comdt, Cml C Sch), 15 May 51. 



ing of officers initiated and firmly maintained from the outset of the national 

The CWS protective mobilization plan contemplated that training of 
other components at the Chemical Warfare School would be discontinued 
upon mobilization, when the school would reorganize for its primary mission 
of training CWS troops. Two types of courses were specified in the new 
setup: successive thirty-day refresher classes of seventy-five officers, and a 
series of classes for enlisted specialists (meteorologists). 54 This program 
would have proven inadequate, even had it been followed. Yet there was 
no evident inclination in 1940 to extend the school training of CWS officers. 
In recommending to the War Department the courses to be conducted at the 
school between 1 July 1940 and 30 June 1941, the CWS proposed only six 
courses, none of them specifically for preparation of Chemical Warfare 
Service officers for active duty. 55 

The negligible utilization of the Chemical Warfare School during the 
period of limited emergency in training CWS personnel for war duty is 
apparent from an analysis of courses conducted at the school during the 
calendar years 1940 and 1941. The only notable departure in 1940 from the 
normal prewar program of the school was the inclusion of a four-week 
refresher course for the training of eighteen newly commissioned Thomason 
Act Reserve officers. During 1941, aside from the schooling of replacement 
center troops already described, no training of officers in performance of 
CWS branch functions was undertaken; yet in this year more than 600 addi- 
tional emergency officers were called to duty. 

Since so few of the incoming officers were receiving formal training, the 
chemical warfare school in 1941 was not being utilized to full capacity. 
This was to some extent a result of the hiatus into which the chemical war- 
fare program of the Army had drifted — a situation which was to be 
remedied soon after Pearl Harbor. The unused capacity of the school was 
employed meanwhile principally in furthering the training of the Army in 
gas protection by means of a series of Unit Gas Officers' classes. Although 
CWS officers were occasionally assigned to these classes, they were set up 
for and principally attended by line officers, ground and air. 

Progress toward rearming in the period of 1939-41 has been described 
as "halting and confused." 50 These adjectives also describe chemical war- 

54 CWS PMP, 1940, par i2d and Annex 7, AG 381 Mob Plan. 

M Memo, C CWS for ACofS, G-3, 7 Jun 40, sub: Courses at CW School. CWS 352.13. 
M Watson, Prewar Plans and Preparation, p. 83. 



fare training as it was carried forward during this period. A major factor 
was the passive attitude of the War Department General Staff toward this 
training, prior to the regeneration that followed the events of Pearl Harbor. 
At the same time the Chemical Warfare Service was nervously seeking more 
realistic antigas training. Often it was the "unit commander who finally de- 
cided how far this training should be extended in his organization. In view 
of the conflicting attitudes on chemical warfare, it is remarkable that training 
in this field had advanced as well and as far as it had by 7 December 1941. 


The Civilian Defense Mission 

One of the first steps taken by Hon. Fiorello H. La Guardia as Director 
of the Office of Civilian Defense, after that office had been set up, was to 
request specifically that the War Department provide for the training of ten 
successive classes of civilians to be selected by his office. 1 The Secretary of 
War approved La Guardia's request to set up schools for the training of 
civilians, and on 21 May 1941 directed the activation of the first of these 
schools. 2 

CWS Prewar Interest in Civilian Defense 

CWS interest in civilian defense had extended back for some years. As 
early as 1930, Col. Charles R. Alley, a CWS officer who had spent some 
time on military attache duty and who was impressed by the importance 
being accorded gas defense in European programs for civilian protection, 
made a detailed study of measures for protection of American civilians 
against enemy attack. Colonel Alley's proposals were the first of a number 
of recommendations presented to the War Department General Staff during 
the 1930*5 covering aspects of civilian protection over which the CWS felt 
concern. During this period the developing threat of aerial warfare against 
civilian populations was closely observed, particularly any means being per- 
fected overseas to counteract the effects of the two types of agents which 
the CWS was charged by law with developing and producing — war gases 
and incendiaries. It was the view of the Chemical Warfare Service that the 
Military Establishment had an inescapable responsibility to the civilian in 

*(i) Executive Order No. 8757. (2) For discussion of civilian defense at War Department 
level, see Stetson Conn, Byron Fairchild, and Rose C. Engelman, Guarding the United States and 
Its Outposts, a volume in preparation in the series UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR 

2 Memo, Dir Mil Pers Div SOS for C CWS, 5 Mar 43, and Inds, sub: Civilian Protection 
Schools. SOS SPG, AO/020 General (2-i7-43)-i3- 

Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia, New York City, first Director of Civilian 
Defense, left, and Maj. Gen. William N. Porter, Chief of Chemical Warfare 
Service, at graduation of first civilian defense class. Chemical Warfare School, 
Edgewood, Alary land, 12 July 1941. 



the matter of protection against air attack and that this responsibility should 
be defined. 3 

The reaction of the General Staff to the several proposals submitted by 
the CWS during this period was mixed. The dominant staff view was that 
nothing should be done that would unduly alarm the general public on the 
hazards attending strategic bombardment/ Americans were known to be 
sensitive to the implications of gas warfare; for this reason the War Depart- 
ment determined not to incur the charge of jingoism by emphasizing the 
danger of gas attacks. At the same time Colonel Sherman Miles of War 
Plans Division ( WPD) felt that the matter should not be entirely neglected. 5 
The Chief, CWS, was accordingly directed in 1936 to prepare a pamphlet 
containing information that would be useful to military authorities respon- 
sible for carrying out measures of passive protection against aerial attacks. 6 
The Chemical Warfare Service was chosen for the task because its concern 
with both gas and incendiaries brought it more prominently into this field 
than other technical agencies of the War Department. In the preparation of 
this publication, the CWS was directed to confer with the Ordnance Depart- 
ment on the effects of explosive bombs, with the Corps of Engineers on the 
design of bombproof shelters, and with the Medical Department on related 
health measures. Co-ordination of views of all War Department bureaus 
that could contribute technical assistance to civilian defense was thus assured. 

This document was duly prepared in the Office of the Chief, CWS, with 
the assistance of other branches. It was approved by the War Department 
and was reproduced by multilith process at the Chemical Warfare School in 
1936 under the title, Passive Defense Against Air Attack. 1 Only 200 num- 
bered copies, bound in red covers and classified "secret," were published. 
By War Department direction, copies of this 43-page pamphlet were trans- 
mitted to each corps area commander and to overseas departments where 
they were filed for use when needed. 

3 (i) Ltr, C CWS to TAG, 28 Jul 36, sub: Legislation to Govern Government Production of 
Antigas Equipment. WPD 3942. (2) Memo, C CWS for CofS, 12 Sep 39, sub: Protection of the 
Civil Population against Air or other Attack. WPD 4078-12 to 24. 

4 (i) Memo for Red, Brig Gen W. Krueger, Asst CofS, WPD, 8 Apr 37, sub: Anti-gas Protec- 
tion of Civilians in War, WPD 3942. (2) Memo Brig Gen George V. Strong, Asst CofS WPD 
for G— 4, 3 Oct 39, sub: Gas Masks for Civilian Population WPD 4078-14. 

5 Memo, Sherman Miles to Asst CofS WPD, 3 Sep 36, sub: Legislation to Govern the Produc- 
tion of Anti-gas Protective Equipment. WPD 3942. 

6 The 1936 directive is referred to and briefly quoted in draft memo, W. K. [Walter Krueger], 
Asst CofS WPD for CofS, Mar 37, sub: Provision for Anti-gas Protection of Civilians in War. 
WPD 3942. 

T CW School Publication No. 135, 1930. CWS 314.7 CW School File. 



With the publication of the passive defense pamphlet the General Staff 
dismissed, for the time being, further consideration of civilian defense. Yet 
during the next two years steady deterioration of the political situation in 
Europe led foreign governments to give increasing attention to problems of 
civilian protection. Full reports of these developments were obtained by the 
CWS through military attaches like Colonel Alley and from other sources. 
Early in 1939 Maj. Gen. Walter C Baker again brought this matter officially 
to the attention of the War Department, proposing that military responsi- 
bility for the protection of U.S. citizens from aerial attack be more sharply 
determined. Among matters of concern to the CWS at this time were ar- 
rangements for production of gas masks for civilian use, agreement on 
channels for release of authoritative information that would allay undue 
alarm over war gases and incendiaries, and procedure for instruction of 
selected civilians in technical phases of air raid precautions. General Baker 
pointed out that "until a general plan has been adopted the chemical plan 
cannot be developed." 8 The recommendations he presented in this letter 
provided the basis for an outline plan for the Army's approach to civilian 
defense, a plan prepared by the War Plans Division after the German in- 
vasion of Poland. 9 This staff study represented the first frank recognition by 
the War Department of responsibility in the matter of civilian defense and 
provided the groundwork for a realistic approach to problems that were to 
loom large during the next four years. 

In reviewing the WPD study after it had been referred to the Chemical 
Warfare Service for comment, General Baker recommended particularly 
that the development of civilian instructors and the specialized training of 
selected civilians be undertaken by the War Department. 10 This proved to 
be the precise direction in which extensive training activities of the CWS 
were to tend less than two years later. 

Preparation of Instructional Material 

In June 1940 the New York City Fire Commissioner, John J. McElligott, 
sent a representative to Washington to confer with the Chief, CWS on the 
problem of familiarizing fire fighters with methods of combating gas and 

8 Ltr, C CWS to TAG, 9 Jan 39, sub: Protection of Civilian Population Against Air or Other 
Attacks. CWS 470.6/732. 

'Memo, WPD for CofS, 20 Feb 40, sub: Protection of Civilian Population from Air and 
Other Attack. WPD 4078-3. 

10 Memo, C CWS for WPD, 30 Sep 39, no sub. CWS 470.6/732. 



incendiary attacks. This and similar requests from responsible municipal 
authorities for technical assistance on civilian defense problems were duly 
reported by the CWS to the War Department and were instrumental in 
getting the department to initiate the compilation of needed instructional 
and training literature. 11 The CWS was directed to prepare a pamphlet "to 
furnish the local Civil Defense organization with information as to the 
methods employed in Chemical Warfare and the means of combating 
them/' 12 This manuscript, eventually published by the Office of Civilian 
Defense as Protection Against Gas (GPO, 1941), served as a wartime guide 
for this type of civilian training. 

Behind the comprehensive group of textbooks, handbooks, and planning 
guides eventually published by the OCD is the story of the peacetime interest 
of a senior CWS officer in civilian defense matters. For several years preced- 
ing World War II, Col. Adelno Gibson had collected standard manuals and 
other writings on civilian defense from most of the countries of Europe. 
Colonel Gibson communicated his enthusiasm for the subject to others. In 
1938, as Second Corps Area Chemical Officer, he presented to senior Reserve 
officers in the New York area a problem then being studied by the CWS. 
This involved the provision of authentic information for the general public 
on the effects of gas and incendiary bombing. 13 

One of these officers, Lt. Col. Walter P. Burn, an advertising executive, 
became interested in this problem and decided to make it the subject of a 
thesis which he was about to write in preparation for promotion. The 
thoroughness with which Burn developed this subject and his novel ap- 
proach to the popularizing of instructional material impressed CWS officers 
who had the matter under study. Burn's thesis was available at the time the 
Office of Civilian Defense was created and it was accordingly supplied to 
that Office for study. As a result, the OCD requested the services of Colonel 
Burn and made him chief of the Training Division. It was largely due to 
Colonel Burn's ability and initiative that the impressive schedule of OCD 
training publications was launched so promptly. As chief of the Training 
Division, OCD, Burn was responsible for the preparation of training litera- 
ti) Copies of municipal communications were filed in CWS 470.6/732. (2) Ltr, TAG to 
Corps Area & Army Comdrs, 6 Jul 40, sub: Protection of the Civil Population from Air and 
Other Attack. AG 385 (6-27-40) M-C-M. (3) Ltr, TAG to C CWS, 23 Aug 40, sub: Instruc- 
tional Matter. AG 383 (8-7-40) M-C 

13 Ltr, TAG to C CWS, 12 Aug 40, sub: Preparation of Pamphlet entitled "Defense Against 
Chemical Warfare." AG 062.1 (8-3-40) P (C). 

13 Ltr Col Walter P. Burn, Ret, to Cml C Hist Off, 1 Jan 57. 



Gas Defense Training for Civilians at the Chemical Warfare School, 
Edgewood, Maryland, 1941. 

ture, manuals and films; the design of insignia and special uniforms; the 
recruitment of skilled writers and artists who served on a voluntary basis; 
and the enlistment for special missions of national organizations such as the 
American Legion, the Boy Scouts, and the Red Cross. 14 

The incendiary bombing of British urban centers, which had become ex- 
tremely ominous by the late summer of 1940, was viewed with special 
apprehension by the U.S. citizens on the Altantic seaboard. New York City 
sent technical observers to England to obtain first-hand information on 
combating incendiary fires. Increasingly urgent calls upon the War Depart- 
ment for technical data on which to base defensive planning finally forced it 
to direct that, pending completion of official instructional literature, the best 
information available should be issued to civilian authorities, 15 The War 
Department was moving cautiously but steadily toward full co-operation 

"(1) Ltr, Col Adelno Gibson, CWS, Librarian Army War College, to Hist Br, CWS, 25 May 
44. (2) Ltr, Maj Gen L. D. Gasser, C Protection Br OCD to Col W. P. Burn, 8 May 42. OCD 
Protection Br Control & Communications Sec Dispatched Corres File NA. 

w Ltr, AGO to C CWS, 23 Aug 40, sub: Instructional Matter to be Furnished the Civil Popula- 
tion. AG 3S3 (8-7-40) M-C 



with civilian agencies charged with protection of U.S. citizens against aerial 

In line with this approach, the CWS, at the request of representatives of 
the National Board of Fire Underwriters, conducted a demonstration at 
Edgewood Arsenal on 9 October 1940, at which magnesium and oil in- 
cendiary bombs were ignited and extinguished. 16 This demonstration was 
the first of hundreds staged by the CWS during the war to inform civilians 
about the character of incendiary bombs and the methods of handling them. 

As another important step in preparation for more active participation 
in the civilian protection program, the Chief, CWS, was directed in February 
1 94 1 to prepare a short course of instruction to be given on a volunteer basis 
to representatives of fire departments of large cities. 17 An outline for a three- 
day course was prepared by the Chemical Warfare School in which instruc- 
tional time was evenly divided between the handling of incendiaries and 
protection against war gases. 

The school staff then proceeded to develop a more extensive instructor- 
training course intended to qualify selected civilians for the task of teaching 
volunteer workers at local levels. In a sense, the Army had to provide such 
a course as a measure of self-defense. It was clear that civilian officials 
would look to the military for technical instructions upon which to base the 
more general training of civilians in connection with the national air raid 
precaution program that the United States would doubtless be obliged to 
adopt. It was equally clear that the Army, even at the beginning of 1941, 
was much too busily employed in military training to embark on an extended 
scheme for the training of civilians. A two-week course for a limited number 
of carefully selected top echelon civilians appeared to provide a solution 
which was within the ability of the War Department and which at the same 
time would enable it substantially to satisfy the need for disseminating 
authentic doctrine on the more technical aspect of civilian defense. 

The Chemical Warfare School made a careful study of this subject and 
early in 1941 developed a course of instruction which promised to meet these 
requirements. As originally developed at the school this course included: 

a. Incendiaries (22 hours): To afford technical instruction in charac- 
teristics of and in methods of coping with incendiary bombs. 

b. Gas defense (26 hours) : To acquaint students with war gases likely 

lfl Ltr, OC CWS to CO EA, Md, i Oct 40, sub: Incendiary Bombs. CWS 470.6/732. 
" Ltr T AGO to C CWS, 25 Feb 41, sub: Special Instruction at the CW School for Members of 
Fire Departments. AG 362.01 (1—22— 41) M-C 



to be used against noncombatants and with methods of protection against 
such agents. 

c. High explosive bombs (17 hours): To afford familiarity with the 
action of HE bombs and with practical measures of protection from their 

d. Training methods (10 hours): To provide practical and theoretical 
instruction in training of local civilians in air raid precautions. 

School Training at Edgewood Arsenal 

The Office of Civilian Defense took such an interest in the course set up 
at Edgewood in June 1941 that it sent steno-typists to record the lectures. 
OCD had to co-ordinate these lectures with the texts and illustrations which 
it prepared. For that reason, and also because the OCD was getting numer- 
ous requests to visit Edgewood from governors, mayors, and other officials, 
as well as from writers interested in Civilian Defense, General Gasser on 21 
July 1 94 1 requested the Secretary of War to designate a liaison officer be- 
tween Edgewood Arsenal and the Office of Civilian Defense. 18 After con- 
sultation between Maj. Gen. William Bryden, Deputy Chief of Staff and 
General Porter, Chief, CWS, 1st Lt. John N. Dick, a CWS Reserve officer 
called to active duty in 1940, was appointed to this post. 19 Dick had formerly 
been Mayor La Guardia's personal representative in Washington and was 
consequently no stranger to the Director of the Office of Civilian Defense. 20 
At the same time Dick was named liaison officer he was made chief of a 
new activated Civilian Protection Division, OC CWS. In July 1942 this 
division was redesignated a branch. 21 That same month Lieutenant Dick was 
succeeded by Col. George J. B. Fisher as chief of the branch and in July 
1943 Colonel Fisher was succeeded by Lt. Col. Willard A. Johnston. In the 
May 1943 reorganization of the Chief's Office the Civilian Protection Di- 
vision became a branch of the Training Division. 22 Late in 1943 the branch 

18 Ltr, Brig Gen L. D. Gasser to SW, 21 Jul 41, sub: Request for Immediate Appointment of 
Liaison Officer at Edgewood Arsenal to Coordinate Relationships with the Office of Civilian 
Defense. CWS 314.7 Civilian Defense File. 

M (i) Memo, DCofS for WD Member of the Board for Civilian Defense (Brig Gen L. D. 
Gasser, Ret), 1 Aug 41, sub: Request for Appointment of Liaison Officer to Edgewood Arsenal to 
Co-ordinate Relationships with Office of Civilian Defense. (2) Ltr, TAG to 1st Lt John N. Dick, 
through the C CWS, 14 Aug 41, sub: Designation of Liaison Officer. Both in CWS 314.7 
Civilian Defense File. 

w (i) Interv, CmlHO with Col John N. Dick, 21 Mar 56. (2) The Washington Daily News, 
December 23, 1941. 

21 (i) OC CWS Off O 14, 30 Jul 41. (2) OC CWS SO 100, 5 Aug 41. (3) OC CWS Off O 
40, 29 Jul 42. 

a OC CWS Organization Chart, 12 Jun 43. 



was deactivated, because by that time the CWS civilian protection mission 
had been accomplished. 

The accommodation of civilian classes at the Chemical Warfare School 
during the summer and fall of 1941 did not impose an undue strain on 
school facilities. As has been indicated, the school at that particular period 
was not being fully utilized in the training of CWS personnel. However, the 
Chief, CWS, was convinced that all existing capacity of the school, and 
much more, would soon be needed for military training. While civilian 
defense training was accepted as a necessary contribution to an aspect of 
national defense in which the CWS had long been interested, it was clear 
that arrangement would have to be made for eventually carrying forward 
this work at other locations. General Porter in August 1941 accordingly sent 
two officers to survey sites where similar schools of instruction could be 
established. As a result of this survey, four additional locations for the future 
conduct of civilian defense training were tentatively selected in Texas, Cali- 
fornia, and Illinois. 

In the eleven classes conducted at Edgewood Arsenal prior to 7 December 
1941, 466 students from thirty-seven states were graduated. Out of this 
relatively small group came many leaders to head civilian defense bodies in 
every section of the country after war was declared. At the same time these 
prewar classes provided invaluable experience in working out solutions to 
problems that were without precedent in American experience. 

Instead of merely instructing in a few essentially military techniques, 
the school faculty soon found itself confronted with the task of expounding 
a new thesis — how civilians might survive in modern war. It was funda- 
mental that civilian protection was self-protection; that civilians themselves 
must organize and operate their own defense setup. This doctrine had to be 
rationalized and to some extent it had to be qualified. Overlapping of mili- 
tary and civilian authority needed clarification, and areas where one super- 
seded the other had to be defined. For example, military control of the air 
raid warning system, of handling unexploded bombs, and of area smoke 
screening all was mandatory — for reasons which had to be made clear. On the 
other hand, development of the warden system, of rescue parties, and of 
fire-fighting services were all matters within civilian jurisdiction. 

These and similar procedures that fell under OCD control obviously had 
to be elucidated before groups such as were attending the classes. The 
school undertook, whenever possible, to have nonmilitary subjects taught by 
civilians. For this purpose, members of the OCD staff and other qualified 
speakers came frequently to Edgewood to lay before succeeding classes 



Demonstration in Decontamination Procedures for civilians. Men in 
protective clothing and gas masks mark off gassed area. Chemical Warfare 
School, Edgewood Arsenal, Md. 

matters of important civilian defense procedure. Yet there was never any 
question, either of this stage or later, that here was a U.S. Army school 
following military instructional procedures but adapting itself to the training 
of civilians. 

The fact that the students were on a military reservation attending an 
Army school gave prestige to the instruction at a time when this was most 
needed. It was frequently noted that a young officer wearing a second 
lieutenant's uniform would be listened to more respectfully than a speaker 
in civilian garb discussing a subject on which he was a nationally recognized 
authority. The confidence with which instruction was accepted was one of 
the rewarding features of this early training activity. Even though peda- 
gogically the course may not have rated high at the beginning, this fact was 



incidental since the students who had volunteered for this training were at 
Edgewood Arsenal to learn; and that is what they proceeded to do. To some 
extent it was a case of student and instructor learning at the same time and 
of each recognizing the other as pioneering in a new field. There was at first 
a, great deal of lecturing and not enough group discussion and applied work. 
The tendency of the school was to emphasize, it may be unduly, those sub- 
jects which for years had been its specialty. Yet there was much praise and 
little criticism from the students who derived a feeling of direct and personal 
participation in preparation for war which they could have gotten in no 
other way. 

For these early classes at the Chemical Warfare School, sessions began 
on a Monday morning and ended at noon on the second succeeding Saturday. 
A charge of $23.00 per student was made for meals during the twelve-day 
period. This and other incidental costs were usually paid by the municipality 
or corporation by which the student was employed although often these 
expenses were borne by the patriotic volunteer. A prorated charge of $60.00 
per student covered cost of ammunition and other outright expenses in- 
curred in connection with this instruction. Army appropriations were reim- 
bursed to this extent by emergency funds made available to OCD, thus 
satisfying a legal restriction that military appropriations should not be ex- 
pended in the training of civilians. 

During the fall of 1941, in response to insistent demands, the Chemical 
Warfare School extended its civilian defense instruction into nearby areas. 
This step was taken as an aid in the protection of industrial plants against 
aerial attack, a matter of utmost concern at the time. The work involved 
demonstrations and seminars at Boston, Princeton, Philadelphia, and Pitts- 
burgh. The course at Princeton consisted of a two-day session conducted for 
the special benefit of CWS Reserve officers who were preparing for active 
participation in the New Jersey state civil defense program. 

Reserve officers contributed materially to the development of civilian 
defense at this early stage, especially in the East. Notable in this connection 
was the work of Col. J. Enrique Zanetti, a CWS Reserve officer and Colum- 
bia University professor, who wrote and lectured extensively on this subject 
and demonstrated the burning of incendiaries before many interested 
groups. 23 Local officials charged with developing civilian defense organiza- 

23 In the fall of 1941 the C hief, CWS, p ut Colonel Zanetti in charge of the incendiary bomb 
program in the CWS. See above, Chapter II. 



tions very often pressed into service CWS officers who were acquainted 
with technical features of air raid protection. 

The twelfth civilian defense class was enjoying its mid-course week end 
when the Japanese struck at Pearl Harbor. The final week of instruction for 
this class had to be conducted by a skeletonized staff because on 8 December 
the Chief, CWS (General Porter) , directed the school to provide a group 
of experienced instructors for an urgent training mission on the Pacific 
Coast. As the details of the Pearl Harbor disaster became known, fear grew 
that other shattering blows might be imminent. The Office of Civilian De- 
fense was especially concerned over reactions in west coast metropolitan 
centers. The Chemical Warfare Service had at that moment the only or- 
ganized staff of instructors qualified to direct the type of training that would 
quickly develop competent leadership in civilian defense at local levels. 
Accordingly the War Department was asked by the OCD to dispatch a group 
of officers to California for the purpose of undertaking the instruction of 
local leaders in civilian defense operations. 

This request was immediately granted. A group of nine CWS officers, 
headed by Lt CoL George J. B. Fisher, reached San Francisco on 13 
December and after hurried consultation with the Commanding General, 
Western Defense Command, and the regional director of civilian defense, 
was prepared to commence its training mission. Employing blitz tactics and 
a condensation of the course developed at Edgewood Arsenal, simultaneous 
three-day classes of instruction were conducted at San Francisco and Oak- 
land. One instructional party moved quickly north to Portland, Seattle, and 
Spokane, while the other proceeded south to Los Angeles, Long Beach, and 
San Diego. 

Public interest ran high; enrollment constantly exceeded the 250 students 
each class was intended to accommodate. Large groups witnessed the demon- 
strations and control center exercises. College auditoriums, public academies, 
and civic buildings were made available for instructional purposes. War had 
found the west coast with civilian protection programs still inadequate and 
incomplete — a situation which citizens of all ranks now undertook to correct. 
Hearty co-operation was afforded each training party. The doctrine stressed 
was that knowledge plus proper organization would enable American citi- 
zens to withstand anything the Japanese could bring to bear against them. 
This philosophy had a tonic effect. When the CWS contingent returned east 
in mid-January it was with the feeling that a measurable contribution had 
been made toward relieving the shock of the initial impact of war upon the 
Western states. 



War Department Civilian Protection Schools 

The early desire of General Porter to relocate civilian training was in- 
fluenced by two considerations. First, he wished to free facilities at Edge- 
wood Arsenal for strictly military usage. Secondly, the eastern location of 
the school was manifestly a handicap to students from the Far West. The 
latter circumstance was particularly disturbing to the Office of Civilian De- 
fense. After the series of ten classes originally requested was completed on 
28 November 1941 the OCD then asked that six more classes be conducted 
at Edgewood Arsenal, at the same time hoping that a number of additional 
schools would be established. 

Already the Commission on Colleges and Civilian Defense had offered 
the co-operation of the nation's colleges in the civilian defense program. 
OCD decided that the use of college facilities for civilian defense schools 
was desirable and accordingly arranged for a meeting between Dr. Francis 
J. Brown, executive secretary of the Commission, and a group of Army 
officers, to study this possibility. This meeting, held in Washington on 5 
December 1941, made a number of proposals which OCD adopted and laid 
before the War Department. Among these were recommendations; (1) that 
six branch schools, each with a capacity for fifty students, be established, 

(2) that these schools be located in colleges well distributed geographically, 

(3) that all schools be controlled and operated by the War Department, and 

(4) that necessary funds be made available by OCD and U.S. Office of Edu- 
cation. 24 The Chief, CWS, was in due time directed by the War Department 
to establish and operate these schools at locations selected by him. 25 

The two schools first established were opened on 15 February 1942 at 
Leland Stanford Jr. University (California) and at Texas Agricultural and 
Mechanical College — two of the four sites that had been selected tentatively 
by the CWS the preceding August. The next month a third school was ready 
to open at Amherst College in Massachusetts. Conduct of civilian instruction 
at the Chemical Warfare School terminated on 31 March 1942, by which 
time a fourth school was in operation at University of Maryland. 26 The 
opening in June of schools at the University of Florida, Purdue University 
(Indiana), and finally at the University of Washington (Seattle) completed 
the original program as proposed by the OCD. 

34 Ltr, OCD to TAG, 10 Dec 41, sub: CD Schools for 1942. AG 352 (12-10-41). 
M Ltr, AGO to C CWS, 16 Jan 42, sub: CD Schools for 1942. AG 352 (12-10-41). 
2i The Maryland school was originally intended to serve instead of the Edgewood school as a 
mother institution for the six branch schools. Later this was found to be impracticable. 



It was necessary to make a few changes in the locations initially selected. 
The school established at the University of Florida was not well attended so 
it was decided in August 1942 to transfer its staff and faculty to southern 
California where insistent demand for this training had developed. Thus a 
school at Occidental College, Los Angeles, opened on 1 September 1942 and 
continued in successful operation until the training program was terminated. 
Another adjustment made in November 1942 was the transfer of the Texas 
A. & M. school to Loyola University, New Orleans. The University of Mary- 
land school was closed in September 1942, primarily in order to provide 
personnel for another training activity. 

Each of these facilities, designated as War Department Civilian Protec- 
tion Schools, was organized under a common pattern which followed experi- 
ence gained at Edgewood Arsenal. A staff of six officer-instructors and an 
enlisted detachment of twenty-five men plus several clerical assistants were 
provided for each school, the senior officer in each instance being designated 
as school director. Cost of housing and meals, usually supplied by the uni- 
versity, was borne by the individual student. Outdoor instructional areas, 
including stage setting for a night incendiary demonstration, were set up by 
military personnel. Under their contract with the War Department, uni- 
versities where schools were located were reimbursed only for actual ex- 
penses incurred. This sum scarcely compensated the institutions for extensive 
use made of their facilities, the value of which had to be written off as a 
contribution to the national defense. 

With the opening of the first branch schools in February 1942 the 
original twelve-day course developed at the Chemical Warfare School was 
shortened to nine days (sixty-six hours) of scheduled instruction. This 
change was occasioned in part by the fact that certain instruction given at 
Edgewood Arsenal could not be duplicated elsewhere. By streamlining the 
course and eliminating interesting but nonessential periods it was found that 
a satisfactory program of basic training in civilian defense could be com- 
pleted by the end of the second Wednesday. 

As finally organized, the general Civilian Defense Course included nine 
subcourses as follows: 

Aerial Attack (7 hours): To acquaint the student with the general 
features of aerial action, including hostile operations and military counter- 
measures thereto — thus leading to a clearer conception of the factors in 
modern war which necessitate development of civilian protection. 

Civilian Defense Organization (3 hours): To insure familiarity with 
the general outlines of organization on national, regional, state, and local 



levels by which civilian defense is integrated to meet the problems presented 
by aerial attack. 

Bomb Disposal (4^ hours) : Presenting characteristics of explosive 
bombs and the general problem of disposing of unexploded bombs; defini- 
tion of respective responsibilities of civilian agencies and military agencies 
in handling unexploded bomb situations. 27 

Incendiary Protection (9 hours) : To impart understanding of the essen- 
tial features of incendiary munitions, and of means and methods by which 
they can be controlled without recourse to organized fire-fighting units. 

Gas Protection (11 hours): Consideration of the nature and charac- 
teristics of gases that may be employed against civilian targets; methods of 
protection against them; civilian organization of gas defense. 

Plant Protection (5 hours): Problems of organization and technical 
preparation of industrial plants, hospitals, and other large facilities as dis- 
tinct from community protection. 

Citizens Defense Corps (17Y2 hours): To induce appreciation of the 
corps as an integrated team capable of coping with the various types of 
incidents, through review of functions of each unit and through exercises 
involving their combined employment under the control center. 

Local Training (3^ hours): To prepare students to actively and effec- 
tively participate in local programs of civilian defense training. 

General Subjects (5^ hours): Miscellaneous exercises and conferences 
not otherwise included. 

By instructional directives, each of these subcourses was broken down 
into a suitable number of lectures, conferences, demonstrations, and exer- 
cises to insure the most effective approach to the designated objective. An 
instructor's period guide was provided by the Civilian Protection Branch, 
OC CWS, for each lesson phase. A standardized schedule indicated the 
sequence of instruction to be followed, text references, and academic pro- 
cedure. Although each school director was authorized to make modifications 
to meet local conditions or to emphasize local problems, such variations 
were incidental. The school authorities realized that only within a firm over- 
all pattern was it possible to reflect instructionally the frequent changes 
being made in the technique of protection against air attack. 

Teaching procedure at the schools was based on FM 21-5, Military 
Training, and TM 21-250, Army Instruction. The texts employed were 
publications of the U.S. Office of Civilian Defense, supplemented oc- 

27 Instructions in handling of unexploded bombs and related subjects were generally given by 
Ordnance officers. 



casionally by military manuals. Pertinent OCD publications were usually 
supplied in sufficient quantities to provide one for each student to be used 
at school and retained after graduation. Much of tht resident instruction 
was explanation, demonstration, and application of matter contained in these 
texts. The atmosphere of the schools reflected the precision and thorough- 
ness associated with the military service. Behind the immediate purpose of 
quickly imparting needed knowledge was the implicit responsibility of im- 
buing each graduate with a sense of confidence in the armed forces of the 
United States. 28 

The immediate and continued success of those schools was due in large 
measure to the experience and capability of the instructors who were as- 
signed to these faculties. These Reserve officers were in many instances pro- 
fessional college and university teachers who fitted readily into this new type 
of semimilitary training conducted in an academic environment. 

A reorganization of the teaching program of War Department Civilian 
Protection Schools was undertaken in December 1942. By this time civilian 
defense organization at local levels had been completed, the Citizens* De- 
fense Corps was well established, and there was diminished need for the 
general course as originally developed at the Chemical Warfare School. 
However, definite requirement was now felt for more specialized instruction 
than was possible in the standardized course. A group of four shorter courses 
was accordingly worked out by the Civilian Protection Branch, OC CWS, 

Basic Protection Course (6 days) : Thorough grounding in technique 
applicable to community protection — handling of incendiaries, unexploded 
bombs, and gas situations; air raid wardens duties; blackouts; panic preven- 
tion; training the general public; and similar basic problems with which all 
were concerned. 

Plant Protection Course (6 days) : To specialize in training of selected 
plant personnel in problems of organization and technical preparation of 
industrial plants, hospitals, and other large institutions or facilities as distinct 
from community protection. This course was generally similar to the basic 
course except that the point of view was .that of the plant or institution 
rather than the municipality. 

Staff Course (5 days): Embraced command organization for control of 
combined units in air raid action; strategy of civilian protection; integration 
of military and civilian security agencies; planning and execution of local 

28 WD Civilian Protection Schools, Instruction Directive, 6 Feb 43. 



programs; organization and direction of the Citizens' Defense Corps; control 
center exercises. 

Gas Specialists Course (5 days): To qualify senior (local) gas officers 
and gas reconnaissance agents for performance of their duties; instruction 
of the general public, and equipment and training of Citizens' Defense 
Corps enrollees. 

With the concurrence of the OCD, these shorter courses replaced the 
original basic course after 1942. During the first six months of 1943 approxi- 
mately twenty of them were conducted at each WDCP school, scheduled in 
accordance with the training requirements of regional OCD authorities. 

Miscellaneous Activities 

Each WDCP school was called upon for considerable service over and 
above the resident instruction of civilian students. At colleges where these 
schools were located, the college laboratories served as practical substitutes 
for chemical field laboratories. The prospect of Japan delivering at least a 
token gas attack against the United States was by no means fantastic; should 
such attack be made, it was important to identify accurately the agents used. 29 
For this reason, qualified instructors in analytical chemistry on the faculties 
of these colleges were given special instruction at Edgewood Arsenal in 
detection of war gases and arrangements were made with service commands 
to have samples of any enemy chemical agents dropped within the zone of 
the interior dispatched to the nearest school for analysis and positive 

The number of Negroes trained at WDCP schools was relatively small. 
This no doubt was due to the limited employment of Negroes as instructors 
and as executives in local civilian defense organizations. Three classes of 
all-Negro students were conducted in the fall of 1942 at the Prairie View 
(Texas) Normal and Industrial College by the faculty of the Texas A. & M. 
school. One hundred and fifty-one men and women from several southern 
states were trained in these classes. The instructional staff was altogether 
satisfied with the caliber of these students and would have welcomed the 
opportunity to train additional Negroes had they been needed. 

211 Japan did drop incendiaries from naval aircraft and released balloons which landed within 
continental United States. See Conn et al., Guarding the U.S., Ch. Ill, and Wesley F. Craven and 
James L. Cate, eds., The Army Air Forces in World War 11: VI, Men and Planes (Chicago: 
University of Chicago Press, 1955), pp. 113, 116-18. Hereafter cited as Craven and Cate, Men 
and Planes. 



An important feature of extracurricula work of the schools was conduct- 
ing plant protection seminars. These were held in every section of the 
country, an outgrowth of the work originally undertaken in this field by the 
Chemical Warfare School in the autumn of 1941. Word of such exercises 
held in the Southwest was carried home by Mexican graduates of the Texas 
school and led the Mexican Government formally to write the Americans to 
stage a plant protection exercise at Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. This exercise 
was successfully accomplished in September 1942 and occasioned a request 
from the Republic of Mexico for a more elaborate civilian defense program 
to be conducted in Mexico City. 30 The project was arranged through the 
Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs. With concurrence of the State De- 
partment, a party headed by the U.S. Director of Civilian Defense (James 
M. Landis) and including experienced CWS instructors flew to the Mexican 
capital in May 1943 for a three-day series of conferences to acquaint local 
and national authorities with U.S. civil defense procedures. 

The most spectacular training activity of CWS in World War II was an 
outgrowth of the biweekly incendiary demonstration conducted by the Uni- 
versity of Maryland WDCP school. This exercise constantly attracted large 
groups of spectators from Washington, military as well as civilian, a fact 
which influenced the school director, Col. Joseph D. Sears, to develop the 
demonstration into an outstanding spectacle. After observing the popular 
interest thus awakened and appreciating the desirability of carrying to a 
larger audience the lessons taught in the exercise, the OCD requested the 
War Department to make this a traveling unit. The War Department was 
unwilling to increase the personnel then allotted to civilian defense training 
but countered with the proposal that the Maryland school be closed and its 
staff utilized for this purpose. Under this arrangement a mobile unit named 
Action Overhead was organized. 

This undertaking put the CWS squarely into the show business. It re- 
quired building up a staff with theatrical experience, including stage man- 
agers, lighting and sound effects men, and narrators. Personnel of the unit 
included nine officers and thirty-five enlisted men, more than the normal 
WDCP school complement, yet certainly small for the task at hand. The 
15,000-word script followed in the show was developed principally by 
Colonel Sears and was finally approved by the Office of the Chief, CWS, 
and OCD on 31 August 1942, by which time Action Overhead, in a 
caravan of fourteen trucks, was ready for the road. 

30 Ltr, US Direc OCD to Col G. J. B, Fisher, OC CWS, 17 Dec 42, no sub, and inclosures. 
General File Off Dir OCD, 093-Latin American Countries-Mexico, NA. 



Throughout the performance the Army's instructional sequence of ex- 
planation, demonstration, and application was steadily followed. The hour 
and a half demonstration was divided into two sections. In the first section 
the various types of bombs used in air attack were displayed, explained, and 
detonated. Then followed demonstrations of correct methods of counter- 
action, usually undertaken by local units of the Citizens' Defense Corps, 
Stressed throughout this part of the exercises were practical knowledge, 
foresight, and calmness in the face of air attack. The second section opened 
with display of a typical control center, manned insofar as possible by local 
civilian defense volunteers. After explanation of the setup and operation of 
the control center, the demonstration field was blacked out for a simulated 
air attack. When possible, a flight of planes from a nearby Army Air Force 
base was employed, the dropping of live bombs being represented by static 
detonation of high explosives and incendiaries. In cities where the AAF was 
unable to co-operate in providing aircraft, sound strips were used to simulate 
their approach. 

During 1942 and 1943 Action Overhead was presented before 2I4 
million people in more than one hundred American cities, giving a realistic 
interpretation of air attack and of civilian defense in action. 

Supervision of War Department Civilian Protection Schools 

Prior to the reorganization of the War Department in March 1942, 
civilian defense matters were handled by the Civil Defense Branch, Office 
of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3. After the creation of the Services of 
Supply, these functions were transferred to the Civil Defense Section of the 
Office of Chief of Administrative Services (SOS). 31 The latter organization 
thereafter co-ordinated all War Department activities in this field, including 
conduct of schools. Since the training was essentially technical in nature, its 
supervision was left with the CWS — the principal concern of the Services of 
Supply being that the schools met the requirements of OCD and that they 
were efficiently conducted. 

Close liaison had to be maintained between the Office of the Chief, CWS, 
and the Office of Civilian Defense in training and related activities. The 
general operating procedure was for the OCD to indicate what teaching was 
desirable, the War Department then determining how the instructional aim 
would be attained. Army relations with the OCD were handled through the 

31 Ltr, C of Adm Servs SOS to CGs Air & Ground Forces, et al., 31 Mar 42, sub: Civilian 
Defense. SPA AC 020 (3—29-42). 



Board of Civilian Protection. The OCD Training Division was an important 
agency of the Board of Civilian Protection and its activities were directed by 
the Army member of that board. In addition to continuous development of 
the curriculum, which was a joint CWS-OCD project, the Training Division 
was solely responsible for the allotting to regional directors of quotas for 
civilian students. 

At the end of a year of wartime operation, the OCD formally requested 
that the WDCP schools be continued. In approving this proposal, the U.S. 
Director of Civilian Defense was advised: 

The War Department is agreeable to the continuation of these schools during the 
calendar year 1943, provided it is your judgment they are serving an essential purpose. 

The Chief, Chemical Warfare Service, has been informed accordingly, and he is 
being directed to continue, as long as these schools are conducted by the War Depart- 
ment, to operate them in such a manner as will most effectively aid you in meeting the 
important responsibilities of your office. 32 

The question of how far these schools were "serving an essential pur- 
pose" began to present itself in the spring of 1943. For understandable 
reasons the active concern of the War Department with the civilian defense 
program gradually lessened as the war progressed. In the course of two 
years the Office of Civilian Defense, starting from scratch, had developed 
a nationwide scheme of civilian self -protection against air raids that was 
reasonably adequate, so that need for advanced training in this field was 
beginning to lack urgency. The doubt and unrest that arose after the shock- 
ing events of December 1941 had been supplanted by a sense of national 
confidence inspired by victories that began with the Battle of Midway. The 
gradual build-up of United Nations strength finally forced the Axis powers 
to assume the strategic defensive, which left them impotent to undertake 
serious action against the U.S. mainland. At the same time shortages of man- 
power at home obliged the Army by 1943 to curtail every activity that did 
not contribute directly to military victory overseas. 

Early in 1943 the prospects of enemy attack were reviewed by the Com- 
bined Chemical Warfare Committee for study of the Policy for Gas Defense 
of the U.S. A study prepared by this group on 20 May 1943 reported the 
following conclusions: 

(1) At present the enemy does not possess the means to deliver sustained gas 
attacks against the United States. 

(2) The enemy probably does possess the means to deliver surprise and sporadic 
gas attacks against vital coastal installations in the United States. 

11 Ltr, C of Adm Serv to Dir OCD, 26 Dec 42, no sub. SPAAC 352. 



(3) The enemy is not now capable of delivering any attacks against inland installa- 

(4) Ample warning will be given before the enemy can get into a position which 
will enable him to deliver regular and sustained gas attacks against the United 
States. 33 

Although this report was made primarily with a view to determining 
policy as to protection of military installations in the zone of interior, its 
application to civilian defense was clear. The hazard of enemy gas attack 
against American cities had diminished to the point of negligibility. 

Nor was this situation the result solely of the deterioration of enemy 
capabilities. U.S. defensive measures had progressively advanced until they 
promised to deny important advantage to the attacker. The American public 
had become acquainted with the characteristics of air raids and had de- 
veloped more confidence in its ability to withstand their effects. The likeli- 
hood of creating panic in heavily populated areas by a show of air power 
had greatly diminished. 

The gas protection phase of the civilian defense program, developed 
under CWS guidance, took into account certain psychological or morale- 
sustaining ends as well as the physical protection of the individual. It in- 
volved protective materiel plus organization, with the two blended into a 
functional entity. Civilian gas masks had been procured by the CWS and 
were stored by the OCD in quantities sufficient to permit issuance of one to 
every civilian whose duty required him to remain in a gassed area. 34 The 
civilian gas protection organization insured echelonment of responsibility 
and technical competence where this was needed. It provided for the execu- 
tion of antigas measures by civilians themselves under procedures au- 
thenticated by military experience and training. Although fortunately the 
defensive scheme was never subjected to the test of combat, it did provide 
ground for assurance that the threat of poison gas could be countered suc- 

What had been accomplished in the field of gas defense was paralleled 
in other fields of air raid protection. Large industrial plants had developed 
operational procedures which promised to avert serious disruption of produc- 
tion in consequence of aerial attack. Fire-fighting organizations had become 
acquainted with the characteristics of incendiary bombing, against which de- 
fensive measures were introduced. State and municipal plans for evacuation, 

" Agenda, Meeting OCWC, 20 May 43. 

"CWS procured over 6^/2 million noncombatant masks for adults and over i 1 /^ million for 
children. CWS Report of Production, 1 January 1940 through 31 December 1945, pp. 20—21. 



rescue, medical assistance, and other aspects of passive defense were de- 
veloped. The ability of U.S. citizens to withstand assault by air was increas- 
ing rapidly at the same time that enemy capability of initiating such assault 
was on the wane. This fact, recognized by Congress as well as by the general 
public, resulted in decision to terminate the WDCP school program. The 
schools accordingly were discontinued effective 21 July 1943. 35 

During their operation a total of 274 classes were conducted with an 
average attendance of 37.7 trainees. Graduates included men and women 
from every state in the Union as well as from Canada and Mexico. Over one 
fifth of the 10,328 enrolled students were Army and Navy officers, some of 
whom were trained for civilian protection duty in the zone of interior, others 
in the theaters of operation. 

Although it now appears that the operation of WDCP schools after mid- 
summer of 1943 was not justified, the War Department willingly agreed to 
continue aid to OCD in its training operations by providing CWS instructors 
as needed for technical training in state civilian defense schools. 36 It further 
agreed to maintain two educational facilities, one on each coast, where Army 
training of civilians could be undertaken again if occasion demanded. This 
commitment lead to the activation of the West Coast Chemical Warfare 
School at Camp Beale, California, in the fall of 1943, while plans were made 
for resuming civilian training at the CW School if necessary. However, OCD 
training activities virtually ceased with the closing of WDCP schools. 

At the same time that it was diminishing within the zone of interior, the 
need for training in air raid precaution was being emphasized abroad as the 
extent of occupied territory increased. Civilian protection in occupied areas 
was a function of Military Government, although few officers designated for 
such duty had received any training in this specialty. The Chemical Warfare 
School was directed in September 1943 t0 prepare an air raid protection 
course to qualify CWS personnel to function as staff air raid protection 
officers in each theater of operations and for the training of officers of other 
branches for this type of duty within their units. 37 Well-qualified instructors 
released by the closing of WDCP schools were available for this purpose. A 
series of seven i-week classes, each averaging 43 students, was completed 
at the Chemical Warfare School by the end of 1943. This brought to a close 
an interesting if somewhat unusual CWS training activity. 

35 Ltr, AGO to CGS of SCs, 29 Jul 43, sub: WDCP Schools. SPX 352 (8 Jul 43). 
M WD Memo 4590-4-43, 24 Mar 43, sub: Training of civilians. 

37 Ltr, TAG to C CWS 16 May 43, sub: Civ Defense Instruction of Selected Officers for 
Expeditionary Forces. SPX 353 (3-12-43) OB-S— SPAAC-M. 


Official Publications 

"Training literature" was the imposing description applied to the war- 
time products of the CWS publication agency. This term was only partially 
appropriate. It did serve, however, to underwrite the idea that all texts re- 
quired for military training were to be found in the list of official publica- 

Volume of Wartime Publications 

The War Department publications that were available at the beginning 
of the war period are listed in a thin, pocket-size pamphlet of twenty-one 
pages. The corresponding list and index of 16 May 1945 was a 386-page 
quarto volume, FM-6, while two additional field manuals (21-7 and 21-8) 
were required to enumerate the various films and graphic training aids that 
were eventually provided. The contrast between the 1940 and 1945 listings 
affords an interesting sidelight on America's unpreparedness for war when 
the period of national emergency began. Not only did the Army lack the 
military publications needed in a major war effort, but, to a considerable 
extent, it lacked a realization of the necessity for such publications. And the 
means for producing them scarcely existed. 

The situation of the Chemical Warfare Service as to training publica- 
tions, while unfavorable, was probably neither better nor worse than that 
of the Army as a whole. Listed in the first issue of FM 21-6, 2 January 1940, 
were six CWS publications. Two were volumes of the field manual series, 
three were technical manuals describing chemical munitions, and one was a 
training regulation (Examination for Gunners). Besides, the Chemical War- 
fare Service had two training films — one produced in 1930 and one in 1933 
— as well as a portfolio of graphic training charts. There was in addition 
some miscellaneous printed matter in the form of extension (correspond- 
ence) courses, technical bulletins, specifications covering supplies procured 
by the CWS, a nomenclature and price list of chemical munitions, and so 



forth. This modest group of prewar publications was a mere token compared 
to the flood of printed materials which the CWS was soon to sponsor. 

The renaissance of the Chemical Warfare Service in the emergency 
period meant a marked stimulation of the development and production of 
CWS materiel, all of which required description or other treatment in 
official literature. The remarkable progress made during the war in pro- 
ducing fire and smoke weapons alone accounted for many new publications. 
A glance at the number and status of these publications as of i July 1945 
indicates the task involved in the preparation of CWS training literature 
during World War II. At that time the following had been published or 
were being prepared for publications: 1 

In Print In Preparation 

Field Manuals 10 6 

FM Changes 13 2 

Technical Manuals 34 10 

TM Changes 40 3 

Technical Bulletins 90 25 

TB Changes 8 5 

Training Circulars 8 3 

Training Films 23 4 

Film Bulletins 17 1 

Film Strips 25 5 

Graphic Training Aids 52 10 

In addition to this series of publications, the CWS was particularly con- 
cerned with the preparation of FM 21-40, Defense Against Chemical Attack, 
and TM 8-285, Treatment of Casualties from Chemical Agents. The fol- 
lowing logistical documents also were prepared for official publication: 

62 Supply Bulletins 

28 Supply Catalog Pamphlets 

4 Modification Work Orders 

2 Lubrication Orders 

1 War Department Pamphlet 

Setting Up the Publications Program 

The prewar official Army manual was well written, but in a staid and 
unexciting style. It was directed toward the instructor rather than to the 

1 Memo, Tng Div OC CWS to Control Div, 21 Jul 45, sub: Quarterly Report of Publications 
Analysis. CWS 314.7 Publications File. This report also lists translations of CWS publications as 
follows: Into Chinese, 4; into French, 18; into Russian, 2. 



trainee. Into the enlarged World War II publications program was intro- 
duced a new element, reader interest. Deliberate effort was made in writing 
to capture and hold attention. Illustrations, both photographic and "art," 
were lavishly employed. The Publications Division, AGO, in time established 
an editorial and art staff to assist preparing agencies in this work. The skills 
of the advertising expert and commercial illustrator were utilized in pro- 
ducing attractive formats. The new manuals were often striking departures 
from the publications of the past, yet such departures were necessary if the 
mass of new instructional material was to be quickly translated into usable 
knowledge. The preparation of publications to meet the standards of World 
War II required the development of a group of technical specialists — writers, 
editors, and illustrators — not previously available to the Chemical Warfare 

The CWS manuals published before the war were prepared under the 
general supervision of the Training Division of the Chiefs Office. That 
division was responsible for obtaining War Department authorization for 
proposed publications, for arranging for the writing of manuals, and for 
obtaining concurrences, when necessary, of other arms and services to final 

Three agencies at Edgewood Arsenal were engaged from time to time 
in writing manuals. The preparation and review of training regulations and 
manuals had been a function of the Chemical Warfare Board since 1925. 2 
The Research Division kept two civilians employed in writing CWS technical 
reports and in preparing technical matter for inclusion in other publications. 
The Chemical Warfare School prepared tactical texts either for its own use 
or for official publication. Experienced officers serving with chemical troops 
were sometimes called on for assistance. The task of preparing a prewar 
manual was undertaken by whoever chanced to know most about a par- 
ticular subject, and the task of reconciling divergent viewpoints of several 
writers was attempted with varying success by the Training Division in 
Washington. Occasionally the Training Division took a hand at writing. 
The system represented a defensive rather than a positive approach to the 
problem of providing the War Department texts needed to delineate the 
CWS mission. As soon as the pressure for new publications became urgent, 
a better scheme for producing them had to be devised. 

Of the three offices concerned with the preparation of publications at 

2 Ltr, OC CWS to Pres CW Bd, 14 Dec 25, sub: Duties of Chemical Warfare Board. CWS 



Edgewood Arsenal, the Chemical Warfare Board most nearly represented 
the over-all viewpoint of the CWS. The preparation of all field and technical 
manuals was centralized under the board in February 1941 as the first step 
toward development of a group specializing in the writing of manuals. 3 The 
writing of CWS technical bulletins by the technical agency was continued; 
with this exception the board was to co-ordinate and carry forward the 
entire publications program. The board's small staff of two officer-writers 
and one civilian artist was gradually built up to eight officers, four enlisted 
men, and seven civilians in the course of the next year and a half. 4 

In these months the CWS developed a capable nucleus of a manual 
writing agency. There was at the start a definite advantage in having this 
unit grow up within the framework of the Chemical Warfare Board. Once 
the child matured, difficulties arose. The work of the board's publications 
section was somewhat outside the main current of board activities, and its 
volume grew so fast as to make supervision by the board a continuing 
problem. The section had in fact become an almost separate entity when, 
in the fall of 1942, it was dissolved and its functions assumed by the newly 
established Training Aids Section, an independent agency of the Chemical 
Warfare Center. 5 This section operated under the Training Division, OC 
CWS, 6 and was responsible for preparing training literature, films and film 
strips, and tables of organization and allowances for chemical units. All 
personnel who had been working on the preparation of publications were 
transferred from the board to the Training Aids Section. 7 

This reorganization was advantageous to both the board and the Train- 
ing Division. It freed the board from a considerable flow of administrative 
work that was interfering with its own important duties, and it enabled the 
Training Division to deal directly rather than indirectly with one of its 
essential operating agencies. By the time the Training Aids Section broke 
away, it no longer needed the administrative guidance that the board had 
initially provided although its success during the remainder of the war period 
was evidence of the sound development that marked its early growth. 

The Training Aids Section remained an operating agency of the Office 
of the Chief located at the Chemical Warfare Center until June 1943 when, 
with its equipment and staff, it became a division of the Chemical Warfare 

3 Ltr, OC CWS to CG EA, 18 Feb 41, sub: Training Literature. CWS 300.7/212. 

4 CWS Hist of Tng, It. VI, Mil Tng Publications (1 Jul 39-30 Jun 44), p. 11. 
OC CWS, Off O 60, 20 Se p 42. 

9 See below J Chapter XVlJ for details of activities of Training Division, OC CWS. 
7 OC CWS, SO 207, 20 Sep 42. 



School. 8 The reasons for this action are not entirely clear. There is no 
indication that the work of the Training Aids Section had suffered because 
of the nature of its administrative status between September 1942 and June 
1943. It is true that during this period the preparation of publications was 
somewhat hampered by lack of enough competent technicians, especially 
civilians, to enable the section to keep abreast of the demands made upon it. 
A great deal of highly specialized equipment, including cameras, enlargers, 
and automatic typewriters, had been procured, so that the section was be- 
coming well equipped to meet all calls made upon it. But the problem of 
personnel was tougher, with greater difficulty in obtaining qualified civilians 
in 1943 than in 1941 and 1942. The Training Aids Section had placed too 
much reliance at the start on the services of officers and enlisted men who, 
after becoming experienced in the work of the Training Aids Section, were 
often reassigned to other duties. The CWS no doubt expected that by merg- 
ing the training aids unit with the Chemical Warfare School the latter, with 
its larger reserve of personnel, would be able to facilitate the work of 
writing, illustrating, and editing. Actually the Training Aids Division suf- 
fered rather than benefited by this arrangement in that it was expected to 
contribute to the needs of the school for training aids while receiving little 
help from the school for its own manpower needs. 

The preparation of official publications continued to be a responsibility 
of the Chemical Warfare School until July 1944. While under the school, 
the Training Aids Division had a somewhat autonomous status since the 
school authorities had neither the time nor experience to assume active con- 
trol of the publications program. On 19 July a new administrative procedure, 
one that proved most satisfactory, was announced. 9 It abolished the Training 
Aids Division of the school, and placed the function of preparing official 
publications in the Tactical Doctrine Branch, Training Division, OC CWS. 
A field office of the Tactical Doctrine Branch was set up at the Chemical 
Warfare Center, and to it was assigned the publications personnel and 
facilities that during the preceding year had been accommodated within the 
organic structure of the school. Thereafter the Chief's Office, instead of 
supervising the preparation of official CWS publications, actually assumed 
full responsibility and accomplished this work during the remainder of the 
war period by means of its own field operating agency. 

The trial-and-error organizational experience of the CWS publications 

s OC CWS, Adm O 12, 14 Jun 43- 
H OC CWS, Adm 015,19 Jul 44. 



agency followed in part from the failure at the beginning to measure 
properly the materiel and personnel requirements of this entirely new type 
of producing unit. Appropriate budgetary needs were only grudgingly met 
when they could no longer be avoided. At the time the agency was separated 
from the Chemical Warfare Board in September 1942, $25,000 was set 
aside to cover its operating expenses for the remainder of the fiscal year; 
this proved to be less than half the sum actually needed. The staff of the 
Tactical Doctrine Branch ultimately included 38 officers, 4 enlisted men, 4 
enlisted women, and 49 civilians; of these, 4 officers and 3 civilians served 
in Washington. Funds allocated to the CWS publications program for fiscal 
year 1945 approached a half million dollars. 10 

The Pattern of Military Publications 

The pattern of official War Department publications was firmly set at 
the beginning of hostilities, under the general provisions of the 310 series 
of Army Regulations. A general directive issued by the War Department in 
January 1941 may be taken as launching in earnest the World War II 
publications program. The system of military publications was supervised 
by the Operations and Training Division, War Department General Staff. 11 
The principal standardized publications at this time were field manuals, 
technical manuals, training circulars, mobilization regulations and training 
programs, tables of organization and equipment, training films, and film 
strips. Although this system was somewhat expanded, the essential pattern 
was not altered during the war. The basic number "3" served to identify all 
CWS publications in each category. 

The publications system was based on two types of documents — the field 
manual and the technical manual. The field manual group included a 
general series, covering the fundamental employment of combined arms 
and services, and a particular series, containing instructions on the employ- 
ment of specific units of the several arms and services. The technical manual 
group, on the other hand, described materiel, its maintenance and operation, 
and contained other data more specialized in nature than was considered 
appropriate for inclusion in field manuals. These two groups furnished basic 
doctrine for the employment of CWS procedures and materials. 

Although the field and technical manuals were conceived as being 
relatively permanent in form, the demand for increasing CWS support 

10 Interv, CmlHO with Lt Col Norman E. Niles, 20 Aug 52. 

u Ltr, TAG to Chiefs of Arms, et ah, 27 Jan 41, sub: Training Literature. AG 062.12. 



throughout World War II called for constant amendment and change to 
accepted doctrine. Revision of these manuals could not keep pace with re- 
quirements, and two new series of publications, the training circular and the 
technical bulletin (War Department as contrasted with CWS) , were there- 
fore adopted to permit the ready dissemination of tentative data. 

At first the training circular was employed to amend both field and 
technical manuals, as well as to announce new training policies. Toward 
the end of the war the importance of the training circular diminished, espe- 
cially after the appearance of the technical bulletin. The somewhat belated 
addition of the latter to the list of official publications was necessitated by 
the striking technological advances of America's munitions program. Intro- 
duced as a means for quick publication of technical information, the tech- 
nical bulletin was exempt from prior review by The Adjutant General. It 
represented the largest single item in the CWS publication program. Other 
publications standardized during the war and with which the CWS was 
particularly concerned were supply bulletins and spare parts catalogs. 12 

In the field of visual training aids, the film bulletin was introduced 
during the war to complement the training film in much the same way that 
the technical bulletin complemented the technical manual. It dealt with new 
military developments, not necessarily based on doctrine, but issued for the 
information of officers and enlisted men. 

The graphic training aid (GTA), used to some extent before the war, 
was widely employed in training. Two types were standardized as official 
publications. War Department graphic training aids were those of Army- 
wide application. In this category were a number produced by CWS for 
training in defense against gas attack. A larger number were Chemical War- 
fare Service GTA's, intended only for use in the training of chemical per- 

Through this wide range of publications— manuals, bulletins, films, film 
bulletins, graphic training aids — ran two divergent currents. One was the 
distinction between the tactical and the technical publications, as represented 
by the field manual and the technical manual. The other was the need for 
quick dissemination of data on new technical developments, without too 
great a disturbance of the old and well established. These views could be 
accommodated within the scheme of official publications. The Chemical 
Warfare Service emphasized the technical rather than the tactical and the 
new methods and materials rather than the old. 

12 Spare parts catalogs, published under ASF imprint, are discussed in Brophy, Miles, and 
Cochrane, From Laboratory to Field. 



The Preparation of Manuals 

Before March 1942, responsibility for the formulation of doctrine for 
employment of chemical munitions rested with the CWS. Under the 1942 
reorganization of the War Department the AAF and the AGF were made 
responsible for development of tactical and training doctrine for the 
weapons which they used, and CWS responsibility was confined to the 
preparation of suitable instructions covering the technical care and use of 
the materiel it supplied. Within the Training Division. OC CWS, the 
Tactical Doctrine Branch was responsible for co-ordinating, supervising, 
and finally for actually authoring a manuscript. This name was adopted in 
deference to Pentagon practice, the Tactical Doctrine Branch of the Office 
of the Director of Military Training, ASF, being the office through which 
CWS publications were cleared. 13 Even tactical doctrine pertaining to CWS 
service troops was cleared with the combat forces before publication. In the 
case of incendiary bombs, matters of tactical employment were decided by 
the Army Air Force. With such munitions as smoke generators and mech- 
anized flame throwers, the line between tactics and technique was not always 
clear; the CWS sometimes had to provide acceptable tactical answers. Yet 
where tactical doctrine appeared in CWS publications, this was formulated 
by or in agreement with the using arm and was not a principal contribution 
of the CWS. 

At the outset of the war, field manuals covering tactical and logistical 
aspects of chemical warfare had already been published. The only wartime 
addition to this series was the publication of six manuals covering field 
operations of chemical service units. 

Five CWS technical manuals had been published at the time of Pearl 
Harbor. These were: 

TM 3-205 The Gas Mask 

TM 3-215 Military Chemistry and Chemical Agents 
TM 3-240 Meteorology 

TM 3-250 Storage and Shipment of Dangerous Chemicals 
TM 3-305 Use of Smokes and Lacrimators in Training 

Among the considerable number of CWS items then standardized, only the 
gas mask and chemical agents were discussed in War Department technical 
literature. It was therefore necessary, after war was under way, to publish 
technical descriptions of certain equipment already being supplied to troops, 

13 WD Cir 59, 2 Mar 42, 



and at the same time to prepare for publication descriptions of new chem- 
ical items as they appeared for the first time in the Army supply program — 
mechanical smoke generators, field impregnating plants, incendiary bombs, 
mechanized flame throwers, napalm, and so on. For without detailed in- 
structions on how munitions should be used and maintained, they quickly 
become a liability in a theater of operations. 

The genesis of the technical description of a military item was to be 
found in data accumulated during the stage of research and development. 
Such data were used by the Technical Division at the Chemical Warfare 
Center to prepare CWS technical bulletins. Thirty-seven of these were pub- 
lished between 1940 and 1943. Although of limited circulation, they were 
important in providing a starting point for the development of the "3-series" 
of War Department technical bulletins, publication of which was first under- 
taken in 1943. 14 The function of the CWS publication agency was to take 
such essentially technical information as had been developed while the item 
was being designed and eventually produced, and translate it into a manu- 
script meeting the needs of a lay reader, providing suitable illustrations, and 
generally adapting the material to the standards set by The Adjutant General 
for official publication. A few of the CWS technical bulletins thus found 
their way into publication as War Department technical manuals although 
the more general procedure was for them to appear, in 1944 and 1945, as 
War Department technical bulletins. In practice, most of the "3-series" of 
technical bulletins appeared so late that no attempt was made to incorporate 
them in the more permanent medium of the technical manual. 

While the CWS publication agency in time acquired a polished pro- 
fessional approach in the production of attractive and useful manuals, it 
necessarily had to seek from others much of the substance which it incor- 
porated into them. The source most generally drawn on, other than the 
Technical Command, was the Chemical Warfare School. The school over 
a number of years had developed a series of locally reproduced texts cover- 
ing features of tactics and technique not included in the scanty list of official 
publications. Some of these, as appropriations permitted, were accepted and 
printed by the War Department as official texts. Thus three of the five CWS 
technical manuals available at the beginning of the war were based on texts 
originally developed for use at the Chemical Warfare School. 15 This general 
type of procedure continued throughout the war; the unofficial school texts 

14 WDCir 297, 13 Nov 43. 

15 TM 3-215, Military Chemistry and Chemical Agents; TM 3-240, Meteorology; TM 3-305, 
Use of Smokes and Lacrimators in Training. 



were steadily laid aside as additional War Department publications became 
available, while many of the latter that were processed by the Chemical War- 
fare Service were derived at least in part from school publications. As early 
as February 1941, unofficial texts had ceased to be used in teaching at the 
Chemical Warfare School. 16 

The debate over official and unofficial texts persisted in some measure 
throughout the war. There was continuing complaint, even when a War 
Department manual was available, that the coverage was incomplete and had 
to be supplemented to meet local training needs. Often this was true. Yet 
ASF policy was that the soldier should be trained with the same document 
that would be available to him in the field and that no local publication 
should take the place of this official text. Any compromise with this policy 
would have been unfortunate, since uniformity in training was essential 
whether the training was done in Louisiana, in northern Ireland, or in 

One useful bridge between the official and unofficial publication was the 
M tentative" manual, numbered and approved by the War Department for 
use only at special service schools. Several Chemical Warfare School texts 
had this status until time and experience determined the desirability of 
official publication. An example is FM 3-5 which appeared in June 1942 as 
Tactics of Chemical Warfare, prepared under the direction of the Chief, 
CWS, for use at the Chemical Warfare School only; later this was super- 
seded by two War Department field manuals: (1) Characteristics and 
Employment of Ground Chemical Munitions and (2) Characteristics and 
Employment of Air Chemical Munitions. 

The Chemical Warfare Board, after it ceased to be responsible for the 
writing of publications, continued to review many of the manuscripts 
processed by the Tactical Doctrine Branch, a procedure which enabled the 
writing agency to take full advantage of the board's experience in all fields 
of chemical warfare. 

Procedures to be followed in the preparation of official publications 
were set forth in great detail in ten mimeographed pages of ASF Circular 
62, issued in March 1944. By this time the technical services were turning 
out a steady stream of well written and attractively illustrated publications; 
Circular 62 added little to what was then known, although it did authenticate 
existing practices and provided a permanent record of the manual writing 

18 Memo, Asst Comdt to C Tng Div, OC CWS, 25 Feb 41, sub: Use of School Texts. CWS 




procedures in vogue in the ASF during World War II. One object of this 
lengthy directive was to limit the multiplicity of War Department publica- 
tions, although the success of the effort was questionable. 

The steps ordinarily involved in the preparation of an official publication 
appear somewhat complicated, yet they were necessary to insure system and 
order in such a large publications program as that of the U.S. Army in 
World War II. When a new CWS publication was needed, or when a 
change in an existing publication was desirable, the CWS made a pertinent 
recommendation to the ASF. If approved, the CWS then prepared a full 
statement of the scope of the publication and an outline of the proposed 
manuscript. This, after review, was referred by the ASF to The Adjutant 
General who studied the project from the viewpoints of essentiality and 
appropriate medium of publication. If TAG concurred, the outline was 
returned to the CWS where it served as the blueprint for the preparation of 
the manuscript. Informal concurrences were obtained from air and ground 
forces headquarters as well as other interested agencies as the work pro- 
gressed so that formal concurrences to the completed manuscript could be 
obtained quickly as a routine matter. The final manuscript with illustrations 
was sent to the ASF for approval and for securing necessary outside con- 
currences. Headquarters, ASF, then referred the manuscript to The Adjutant 
General, who reviewed for conformity with editorial standards and with 
media requirements; afterwards it was either returned to the Chemical War- 
fare Service for any essential changes or was transmitted to the printer for 
reproduction. After printing, distribution to troops also was handled by 
TAG. The same general procedure was followed in processing graphic train- 
ing aids and film projects. 17 

Speeding Up the Program 

As the publication program began to gain momentum, there appeared 
danger that it might bog down unless something was done to reduce the 
excessive time lapse between the initial approval and the final distribution 
of a printed pamphlet. In the case of some CWS manuals, the interval ran 
to as much as eight months. 

This time was consumed in three ways: first, in writing and illustrating; 

17 The Signal Corps was responsible for the production of film materials of all sorts. See George 
Raynor Thompson, Dixie R. Harris, Pauline M. Oakes, and Dulany Terrett, The Signal Corps: 
The Test, a volume in UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II, Chapter XIII. 



second, in obtaining concurrences of interested commands; third, in printing 
and binding. The ASF undertook to control the time spent on writing by 
assigning a deadline to each project as it was approved and by requiring 
submission of regular progress reports until the pamphlet was completed. 
But shortcuts had to be developed in the matter of concurrences and also in 
the printing of manuals. 

The handling of concurrences to CWS publications by ground and air 
forces was greatly simplified by the ASF in November 1943 under a pro- 
cedure which permitted the publication of new technical manuals without 
advice or consent of other agencies. 18 It also delegated to technical services 
full responsibility for approval of these publications, without reference to 
the ASF — a real departure from the initial procedure referred to above. This 
action was clearly dictated by the urgent necessity for speed in getting tech- 
nical literature into the hands of troops. The line between the technical 
manual and the field manual was now more sharply drawn. Into the technical 
manual went instruction as to what was to be done about the maintenance 
and operation of new equipment, thus leaving for later publication in a field 
manual specific instructions for crew or individual equipment operation in 
the field. This meant the elimination of doctrine from technical manuals, 
and with it, much of the prepublication concern of the combat forces with 
these pamphlets. Upon distribution, copies of new technical manuals were 
circulated for comments which, wherever appropriate, were published later 
as technical bulletins or as changes to technical manuals. 

The mushrooming of the Army publications program had the effect of 
clogging the Government Printing Office with work so that, by the summer 
of 1943, as much as three months were required merely for the printing of 
CWS manuals. In order to cut this time, use of the Chemical Warfare 
School reproduction plant was proposed. This plant was well equipped for 
offset printing which, under AGO policy, was acceptable for editions of less 
than 30,000 copies. Since most CWS publications fell within this limit, 
printing of manuals at the school was quickly authorized. During the re- 
mainder of the war practically all CWS pamphlets published for the War 
Department were reproduced at the school plant. Final drafts of manu- 
scripts were produced by electromatic typing and, upon approval, were thus 
ready for immediate offset reproduction. The proximity of the publications 
agency, within a few hundred yards of the reproduction plant, was a favor- 

18 ASF Administrative Memo S-98, 23 Nov 43, sub: Development and Promulgation of 
Doctrine, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedure, filed in AGO publications, Air Force and Modern 
Army Br, War Records Div. 



able circumstance. The average time of printing a pamphlet was thus reduced 
to about two weeks. 

The deadline set by the ASF for the completion of official publications 
ceased to apply to technical manuals after November 1943 since the prepara- 
tion of these publications was now left entirely to the technical services, A 
very effective deadline nevertheless remained in the War Department re- 
quirement that initial shipment of new munitions to overseas theaters be 
accompanied by appropriate technical instructions. 19 There is no record that 
any new chemical equipment was actually held up in shipment because of 
delays in providing technical literature, although occasionally frantic efforts 
had to be made to prevent such a contingency. Manufacturers were asked to 
prepare, in the format of technical manuals, instructions in the operation, 
care, and maintenance of equipment they were supplying. This was expected 
to insure the readiness of printed directions in time to accompany new equip- 
ment overseas. Chemical Warfare Service experience revealed that this pro- 
cedure did not always result in producing a satisfactory substitute for a 
technical manual prepared by the Tactical Doctrine Branch. For example, 
the producer of the mechanical smoke generator, M-2, was asked in Decem- 
ber 1943 to prepare an instructional pamphlet covering this new equipment 
for which he had been awarded a contract. The pamphlet was ready in April 
1944 but it did not satisfy War Department standards. The manufacturer s 
publication was permitted to accompany the first shipments of these new 
smoke generators; but the CWS undertook to rewrite, reillustrate, and re- 
print the pamphlet, which was distributed two months later as TM 3-381. 

The measures taken to expedite the preparation of publications during 
the later stages of the war resulted in reducing by at least 50 percent the 
time requirements for CWS technical publications. In 1945 these were being 
produced within approximately three months. In view of all the factors 
involved, this meant that the program was moving at good speed. Yet study 
of the official publications issued prior to the end of hostilities show that 
many of them were distributed too late to have had much effect on military 
operations. This was true, for example, of the excellent TM's covering 
mechanized flame throwers; manuals could not be written until weapons 
were standardized, which in this instance was late in the war. 

Although the prewar list of publications was small, it was possible for 
the individual officer to be acquainted with all manuals relating to chemical 

19 AGO Memos No. S310-1-43, 13 Jan 43, and No. 8310—4-43, 19 Feb 43, sub: Technical 
Manuals to Accompany Equipment. Both in AG 353(1-4-4)3- 



warfare. The mass of material that had been published by the end of the 
war precluded this — none but the specialist could become familiar with it all. 
When the war ended it was not easy — nor was it desirable — to cut off the 
publications program in mid-air. Many manuals were left only partially 
written; these in most cases were completed, under the theory that it always 
is much quicker to revise an existing publication than to bring out a first 
edition. The publications program, in short, had built up a momentum that 
inevitably carried it to a point well beyond the end of hostilities. How far 
it was carried by the enthusiasm of the publications specialist beyond the 
point of cogent need was a question that only the future can determine. 


Replacement Training 

While most other elements of the armed forces had made substantial 
progress in activating and training troops during the early months of partial 
mobilization, the operations of the Chemical Warfare Service along these 
lines remained almost at a standstill until the second half of 1941. Even so 
at the end of December 1941, CWS personnel represented only four-tenths 
of one percent of the U.S. Army. This ratio was to more than double within 
the next two years, CWS strength increasing at twice the rate of the entire 
Army. From 14 c hemical un its on 7 December 1941, the total rose to 289 
on 30 June 1943. {Table 9)] From 6,269 officers and enlisted men as of 31 
December 1941 the service grew to a peak of 69,791 on 30 June 1943. The 
accelerated expansion represented by the peak figures did not actually get 
under way until some months after the Pearl Harbor attack. 1 

On 7 December 1941, the existing CWS RTC was quite inadequate. The 
Chemical Warfare School lacked accommodations for enlisted students, 
although construction nearing completion would eventually enable it to 
handle up to two hundred officer students. The branch had no officer can- 
didate school and no unit training facilities. Of even more concern to the 
CWS was the fact that these deficiencies in its training establishment were 
indicative of the lack of a suitable chemical troop basis. Although this situ- 
ation was soon to be improved by a renewed concern in the Army over the 
probability of gas warfare, this development was by no means foreseeable 
at the end of 1941. 2 

Soon after the declaration of war the General Staff questioned whether 
the technical branches were making adequate provision for service units 
under the augmented protective mobilization plan for 1942. In response to 
an inquiry on this point, the Chief, CWS, reported that insufficient chemical 

'(i) Kent Roberts Greenfield, Robert R. Palmer, and Bell I. Wiley, The Organization of 
Ground Combat Troops (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1947), p. 203, Table 3. (2) 
App. A. 

2 See above, |Chapter III. 



Table 9 — Chemical Warfare Service Units Active During World War 11" 

(As or dates indicated) 












IS Aug 45 













Chemical Mortar Battalions 











Chemical Mortar Companies 











Chemical smoke Generator Battalions 






Chemical Smoke Generator Companies 










Chemical Companies Air Operations 










Chemical Depot Companies (Aviation) 










Chemical Maintenance Companies (Avia- 

tion) _ _ 









Chemical Depot Companies _ 











Chemical Base Depot Companies 






Chemical Maintenance Companies 






1 A 



1 & 

1 7 
1 / 

1 o 



Chemical Decontamination Companies 











Chemical Processing Companies 











Chemical Service Battalions., 




Chemical Composite Service and General 

Service Companies _ 










Chemical Composite Service Platoons and 

Detachments.- _ 






Chemical Laboratory Companies 











Chemical Composite Battalions 



* Data on individual units may be found [n Appendix H. 

h AH units shown in this column activated prior to 7 December 1941. 

Japanese signed surrender terms. 

Source: Historical Data Cards, AGO. 

units were authorized for ground forces and recommended a ratio of seven 
chemical service companies per field army. 3 Arrangements then projected for 
constituting air chemical service units under the current 84-group AAF 
program were considered satisfactory. 

On the combat side the picture was gloomy. Only two chemical mortar 
battalions had been authorized — and they were a considerable distance from 
activation. Yet it was clear that if an adequate complement of service troops 
was needed in connection with defense against enemy gas attack, weapons 
troops in substantial numbers were just as necessary for retaliation. The two 
went hand in hand in any balanced gas warfare program. 

a Memo, C CWS for ACofS G-4, 13 Dec 41, sub: Adequacies of Service Troops. CWS 
381/258 (12-13-41). 



In comparison to most other arms and services, as already noted, CWS 
mobilization at the beginning of 1942 was definitely retarded. This situation 
had been chronic throughout the period of limited emergency. But, with the 
development of a full and in fact desperate emergency, the War Depart- 
ment began to view more gravely the manifest shortcomings in the chemical 
troop program. From January 1942 the military strength of the CWS was 
to follow a rapidly ascending curve. Yet the handicap of a late start upon an 
eventually ambitious training program was never entirely overcome. 

The strength of the CWS at the end of April 1942 was 1,832 officers 
and 12,068 enlisted men. Four chemical mortar battalions were in training 
and by the end of June two more were to be mobilized. The air and ground 
chemical troop basis as of 25 May 1942 called for 4,970 officers and 47,192 
enlisted men. It contemplated the mobilization of 105 ground service units 
and 105 air chemical units. The Army Supply Program called for the activa- 
tion of twenty-two more chemical mortar battalions in 1943 and 1944. 4 The 
sharp increases necessitated an immediate step-up of training activities. 

The policy on chemical mortar battalions as worked out in the spring of 
1942 made Army Ground Forces responsible for the activation and unit 
training of these organizations; the officers, unit cadres, and filler and loss 
replacements were to be trained and supplied by the CWS. Officer require- 
ments for these battalions and for the chemical units in prospect for ground 
and air forces necessitated immediate enlargement of the modest CWS 
Officer Candidate School that began operations in January 1942. Troop re- 
quirements for nearly thirty-five thousand filler and loss replacements during 
the remainder of the calendar year forced radical changes in the approach 
to both individual and unit training. A new and vitalized chemical training 
program for the Army at large coupled with War Department insistence on 
more realistic chemical situations in ground force maneuvers combined to 
give the CWS greatly enlarged training responsibilities. 

The Upswing in RTC Requirements 

Entry of the United States into World War II as an active belligerent 
presented an immediate challenge to the system of prewar replacement train- 
ing. If the preparatory training of all individual soldiers under the training 
center system were to be continued, considerable increase in the number of 
centers would be necessary. After careful study, the War Department re- 

1 See above. 

Chapter III. 



jected this solution as impractical and instead directed such expansion of 
existing RTC facilities as was feasible. 5 This decision meant in effect that 
the Army was falling back in considerable measure to the prewar arrange- 
ment of basic training of ground force inductees within units. 

One way to stretch existing RTC facilities in meeting the new sharply 
accelerated load of wartime training was to cut down the training cycle. 
In December 1941 the War Department, as a temporary measure, directed 
reduction of RTC training programs from thirteen to eight weeks. 6 An effort 
was made to meet the cutback in time without disrupting the essential train- 
ing pattern that had been developed during 1941. Cuts were made in hours 
allotted to subjects rather than in the subjects themselves with elimination, 
where necessary, of advanced phases of technical work which bordered upon 
unit training. 

The curtailment of the basic training course by five weeks, while it 
speeded up the output of the Edgewood Arsenal center, came far short of 
solving the serious training problem which the CWS was then facing. The 
steady increase in the RTC load is indicated by the following tabulation of 
trainees: 7 

Number in 

Month. Training 

December 1941 1,100 

January 1942 1,210 

February 1942 1,555 

March 1942 2,340 

April 1942 2,595 

To provide for the increasing number of trainees being shipped to Edge- 
wood Arsenal, the training organization of the RTC was progressively ex- 
panded. A second training battalion was activated in February 1942 and a 
third battalion was partially organized a month later. Each battalion con- 
sisted of a headquarters and headquarters detachment and four lettered 
companies. Each company had an authorized cadre of 6 officers and 27 
enlisted men and 213 trainees. 8 

Integrated instruction within companies was followed while the RTC 
remained at Edgewood Arsenal, one lieutenant-instructor teaching nearly all 

Palmer, Wiley, and Keast, Procurement and Training of Ground Combat Troops, p. 172. 
(2) Memo, Brig Gen H. R. Bull for G-3, 3 Jan 42, no sub. AGO 381 (12-27-41) (2) (S). 

6 Ltr, TAG to C CWS, 19 Dec 41, sub: Reduction in Length of Tng Program at RTCs. AG 
320.2 (12-17— 41) MT-C. 

7 CWS Hist of Tng, Pt. IV, Tng of Replacements, Fillers and Cadres, p. 22. 

8 History of Edgewood Arsenal, Vol. I, Ch. 24, App. L. MS. 



of the subjects to the men of his platoon. Progress of training was tested by 
company commanders or, in the case of specialist schools, by the officer in 
charge. The center commander instituted an individual proficiency chart 
which was kept for each trainee and forwarded with his service record when 
he was shipped out. This chart showed at a glance subjects studied, the hours 
devoted to each, and the instructor's rating of the student. By crossing off 
each hour of instruction as it was completed, the school readily noted ab- 
sences which had to be made up by special instruction. 

During 1941 and 1942 over 66 percent of the 7,270 trainees who passed 
through the Edgewood Arsenal RTC were sent to fill chemical units in the 
zone of interior. {Table 10) The RTC also supplied cadres to thirty-nine 

Table 10 — Shipment of RTC Trainees, Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland 


To Z of I 

To overseas 

Shipped as 




















■ 57 of these went to OCS. 

Source: Special orders issued by Hq, Kdgewood Arsenal, Md. 

newly mobilized chemical companies during the same period, fillers for these 
organizations being furnished directly from reception centers. 

In expanding the Edgewood Arsenal RTC from an initial capacity of 
1,000 in the spring of 1941 to 2,500 a year later, it became necessary to 
house a large portion of the trainees in a tent camp area previously used by 
the Civilian Military Training Corps. Although this imposed little hardship 
on the troops, training suffered because of lack of areas and other facilities 
to accommodate ten companies of over 200 men each. 

While the first class of inductees was being processed at Edgewood 
Arsenal in 1941, the replacement center commander prepared a sketch of 
what he considered a layout requisite for an RTC capable of handling 1,000 
men. 9 The plan provided for the use of an area approximately three miles 

9 Memo, RTC EA for C CWS, 3 Apr 41, sub: RTC. CWS 381.39. 



square, with suitable ranges and instructional and exercise areas. The creation 
of such an installation on the Edgewood Arsenal reservation was not prac- 
ticable at the beginning of 1941; by the end of the year there was much less 
chance of adequately accommodating the training load that had developed. 

The replacement center was only one of several training activities that 
burgeoned at Edgewood Arsenal after war was declared. Officer candidate 
training was soon demanding space. Advanced and specialized courses at the 
Chemical Warfare School called for greater utilization of ranges. Training 
activities had pyramided to such size that they required direction by a senior 
officer who could integrate all of them, consolidate requirements insofar as 
possible, and see that minimum needs were satisfied. To this task was as- 
signed Brig. Gen. Haig Shekerjian, who became chief of the Troops and 
Training Division at Edgewood Arsenal on 11 February 1942. For the next 
three years General Shekerjian was to be intimately concerned with the re- 
placement training program. 

In estimating requirements for replacement training during 1942, the 
CWS in February assumed that it would have to train 14,384 men. 10 Allow- 
ing for possible additional activations not yet authorized, the CWS foresaw 
immediate need for a replacement center having a capacity for 5,000 
trainees, which, under a thirteen-week training cycle, would provide 20,000 
replacements per year. 11 This figure was so far beyond the capabilities of 
Edgewood Arsenal that the only possible solution was to look elsewhere for 
a sizable training area. Construction of new RTC installations in 1942 was 
contrary to War Department policy. But because of the critical plight of the 
Chemical Warfare Service at this time, with its urgent need to meet the 
enlarged requirements for chemical troops which the staff was then formulat- 
ing, an exception had to be made in the case of the chemical training center. 
The recommendation of the Chief, CWS, that an adequate RTC facility be 
provided was accordingly approved. A site near Gadsden, Alabama, was 
selected in March 1942, and work was begun on the new installation, Camp 
Sibert, several months later. 12 

Once the decision was taken to develop a new RTC in the south, further 
improvement of the Edgewood Arsenal installation ceased. Despite the fact 
that the new facilities were not scheduled for completion before the follow- 

10 IOM, 1st Lt F. R. Williams to Ex O, Plans and Training Division, 18 Feb 42, sub: Estimate 
of facilities for proposed RTC. CWS 314.7 Training File. 

11 The temporary reduction of the RTC course to eight weeks continued only until the spring 
of 1942, when the thirteen-week course was restored. 

13 For details on the origins of Camp Sibert see above, [Chapter Vl7| 



ing December, the Chemical Warfare Service decided to begin occupancy 
even before the government formally acquired title to the Alabama reserva- 
tion. What the Edgewood RTC lacked and so desperately wanted at this 
time was space. And there was space at the new location. 

On 3 June a temporary camp area was selected by an advanced detail 
from Edgewood Arsenal. 13 This section of the reservation soon took the 
name Tent City. Here shacks were demolished, ground cleared and leveled, 
and lines of company tents established by the pioneer group so that the 
temporary camp was habitable by 23 June 1942 when the permanent cadres 
of Companies E and F, 2d Training Battalion, arrived from Edgewood 
Arsenal to form the first RTC training units at the new station. On 8 July, 
425 inductees arrived for assignment to these two companies. Thereafter no 
more men were shipped from reception centers to the Edgewood facility; 
as successive companies completed their training, the cadres moved to 
Alabama and there prepared to receive fresh trainees. The last RTC elements 
cleared Edgewood Arsenal on 6 September. 

During the remainder of 1942 two projects were going forward simul- 
taneously in different parts of the big reservation — expansion and develop- 
ment of the temporary camp, and construction of the barracks and other 
facilities for the permanent installation. Work in the Tent City area was 
done largely with troop labor, assisted by such civilian labor as could be 
found for the purpose. New troops were now moving in steadily so that by 
mid- July more than one thousand were present for duty. In order to accom- 
modate them, it became necessary to arrange the training schedule so as to 
employ trainees 011^ Wednesday afternoons, and even on Sundays, on the im- 
provement and upkeep of the temporary camp and its facilities. On arrival, 
the recruits "were made aware of the job in front of them by being given a 
spade, a shovel, and a short pep talk almost before they had officially re- 
ported to their company officers." 14 The contribution of trainees to the early 
development of Camp Sibert was large indeed. Throughout the summer and 
fall there were endless drainage ditches to be dug, more company streets to 
be laid out, new areas to be cleared. This work was undertaken cheerfully 
enough by men who had recently given up civilian life to become soldiers, 

13 Movement of RTC from Edgewood Arsenal was directed by Ltr, AGO to CG 3d Corps Area 
(CA), 6 Jun 42, sub: Movement of CWS RTC. SPX 370.5 (6-8-42) MS-SP-M. 

14 The Story of Camp Sibert; Training Center of the Chemical Warfare Service (to 31 March 
1944). (Hereafter cited as The Story of Camp Sibert), p. 17. Prepared by Historical Branch OC 



though many of them must have questioned the lack of planning which 
necessitated their employment for such tasks. 

During the latter half of 1942, meanwhile, construction proceeded under 
contracts let by the Corps of Engineers for barracks and other facilities 
necessary for the permanent housing of five thousand RTC trainees. Un- 
usually heavy rains which began in December and continued until April 
hampered the work and increased its cost. The rains not only delayed con- 
struction — they very seriously interfered with training. The winter of 1942- 
1943 was one of the worst on record. When the Coosa River overflowed its 
banks in December, great areas of the main camp were flooded and made 
unusable for training — a situation very different from the "suitability for 
year-round training" that had been anticipated. 

The completion date for the installation, originally set at December 
1942, was not met. In fact, on 3 February 1943 the job was no more than 
81 percent complete. 15 Although the first contingent of RTC trainees began 
moving from tents into their new barracks on 15 November 1942, all con- 
struction work was not finished until well into the following spring. 

Camp Sibert proved large enough to afford adequate space for all the 
varied types of training which the CWS undertook at this location. The 
reservation was fourteen miles long and over five miles wide at its broadest 
point. Its terrain included open fields, rolling uplands, and well wooded 
areas. By the summer of 1943 the new RTC was part of a complete and self- 
sufficient training installation which included 1,500 buildings and 41 miles 
of roadway. On the large parade ground, twenty battalions could pass in 
review. There was a 1,000-bed hospital, bakery, laundry, 9 chapels, 3 
libraries, 3 service clubs, 5 theaters, and eventually an airport with 2 run- 
ways each a mile long. The entire cost of constructing the camp was 
$i7,662,i25. 16 

Camp Sibert was built for one purpose only: to facilitate the training of 
chemical troops. Gradually the ranges, exercise areas, and maneuver fields 
needed to attain this end were developed, although the training phase of 
the Army's mobilization had passed its peak before all of them were in use. 
After the activation of the CWS Unit Training Center at Camp Sibert in 

15 Memo, Div Engr, South Atlantic Div, for C Engrs, 5 Feb 43, no sub. CWS 314.7 Facilities 

16 Corps of Engineers, Quarterly Inventory of WD Owned, Sponsored, and Leased Facilities, 
31 Dec 45. For data on all CW facilities, see Appendix B in Brophy, Miles, and Cochrane, From 
Laboratory to Field. 



Chemical Warfare Troops Undergoing Training on infiltration course, 
Camp Sibert, Alabama, 

October 1942, many of these training facilities were shared by RTC and 

For basic military training, the normal obstacle and infiltration courses, 
rifle ranges, and exercise areas were provided. For technical training, some 
novel facilities were developed. For example, a toxic gas maneuver area of 
some six square miles was set up in an uninhabited section of the reserva- 
tion, the first area of this kind ever available to U.S. troops. Another im- 
portant training adjunct was the decontamination area, where the recruit 
learned how to reopen terrain contaminated with gas. Here rough ground, 
covered with underbrush and threaded with trails, was alternately gassed 
and decontaminated. A range where 4.2-inch chemical mortars could be fired 
practically at will without conflicting with other range requirements filled a 
long-felt need. Never in its history had CWS been provided with such a good 
setup for instruction in the tactics and techniques of chemical warfare. There 
was elbow room at Camp Sibert. As soon as conditions permitted, the RTC 
began to use it. 



RTC Curriculum 

In an introduction to a wartime account of training activities at Camp 
Sibert, the commanding general (Shekerjian) wrote: 

Many trainees who came to Camp Sibert held degrees in science and the arts; but 
they were considered prospective soldiers rather than specialists. The first duty of the 
camp was to make soldiers out of them. They had to be made physically hard, receptive 
to discipline, mentally alert, cooperative and thoroughly versed in the fundamentals of 
soldiering. Once the men had shed their civilian habits and became coordinated into a 
military unit, they were far more capable of learning and applying the special chemical 
warfare techniques covered in the later portion of their Camp Sibert training. The 
instructors primarily aimed at conditioning the men for war. Having achieved this, 
they taught them the technical aspects of their military duties. 17 

The issue of military versus technical training was only one of several 
that had to be settled in connection with the progressive development of 
the curriculum for RTC training. Other problems were: the amount of time 
to allow for replacement training; the degree of functional specialization to 
be aimed at in technical training; and the differing requirements for domestic 
and overseas replacements. Some of these issues finally had to be decided 
by higher authority in accord with considerations affecting the Army at 
large, although in most instances CWS training needs were influential 
factors. Solutions to these problems were ^ever definitive. They had to be 
worked out in the light of experience to meet the exigencies of constantly 
shifting military situations, so that the answers developed in the latter stages 
of the war would not necessarily have served at the beginning. 

The preoccupation of technical branches with their own specialties was 
reflected in the inadequate provisions that were made for basic military 
training under the early mobilization training programs. Soon after the 
Army reorganization of March 1942, the Army Service Forces undertook to 
correct existing disparities and to insure uniformity in basic military training 
at all replacement training centers under its control. The concept of RTCs 
for service troops was new. The Military Training Division, ASF, from the 
start held the view that the technical soldier should receive the same rigorous 
basic training as the combatant soldier. The first fruit of this policy was the 
promulgation in August 1942 of a basic military training program for all 
replacement (and unit) training centers. 18 Thereafter all inductees assigned 

17 The Story of Camp Sibert, pp. 2-3. 

"Memo, Dir Mil Tng SOS for C CWS, 27 Aug 42, sub: Basic Tng Program. SOS SPTRR 
353.01 (8-27-42). 



to any branch of the Army Service Forces received identical and generally 
adequate instruction in the fundamentals of soldiering. 

This uniformity of programing was extended to cover specialist training 
that was common to all branches. The early specialist schools conducted 
while the RTC was located at Edgewood Arsenal had trained truck drivers, 
motor mechanics, clerks, and cooks. These students were designated "ad- 
ministrative specialists" in contrast to "technical specialists" such as toxic gas 
handlers whose training in specialist schools qualified them primarily for 
duty with the Chemical Warfare Service. The "21-series" of mobilization 
training programs drawn up by the Army Service Forces provided for unified 
training of all administrative specialists, leaving the training of technical 
specialists in the hands of the technical branches. 

This same principle was observed throughout the war. For training that 
was basic or common to all technical branches, programs were prepared by 
the Military Training Division, ASF; for strictly technical instruction, 
programs were prepared by the training division of the technical branch 
concerned. For example, the '^-series'* of chemical warfare MTP's followed 
at Camp Sibert were modified from time to time to conform to the 
"21-series" of basic programs promulgated by the Army Service Forces. 

The question of how much time should be allowed for the replacement 
center training of newly inducted soldiers was frequently reviewed as the 
war progressed. The insufficiency of the eight-week program has been noted. 
The thirteen-week program in effect at the outset of war had to be dropped 
back to eight weeks during the first three months of 1942, for reasons which 
were pressing at the time. The thirteen- week schedule was resumed in March 
and continued to serve reasonably well until that stage of the war when the 
need for combat loss replacements became of paramount importance. 

As a result of his observations in North Africa, General Marshall stated 
(at a conference on 10 June 1943) that RTC training should be revised to 
afford better preparation for active combat in overseas theaters. 19 This pro- 
nouncement marked a turning point in RTC training. In the course of two 
years, the centers had come to rely on having their graduates received into 
units where their military education could be rounded out and any defects 
in individual training corrected. With most of the thirteen-week trainees 
this procedure was possible, even where replacement center graduates were 
sent to units overseas. But once conflict was fully joined, as it was in 1943, 
organizations in combat zones wanted replacements who were ready for 

18 Notes on Conference, Tng Div ASF, 22 Jul 43. CWS 314.7 Tng File. 



battle. To provide them, the War Department had to assign more time for 
basic training, and in August 1943 the replacement training cycle was in- 
creased to provide seventeen weeks of training time. 20 

Under ideal conditions, the most desirable over-all arrangement might 
have been to allow a total of six months for preparing a civilian to become 
an effective member of a small-unit military team, with three months devoted 
to individual and three months to unit training. Such an orderly approach to 
mobilization has seldom been possible within the vagaries of American 
military policy. The seventeen-week replacement training cycle represented 
a satisfactory if not perfect solution to the problem of individual training 
during the latter stages of the war. It was based, however, on two assump- 
tions which were subject to some question: 

a. That individual training for all technical services required identical 

b. That all technical soldiers (except medical) needed the same basic 
military training. 

The trend of ASF training policy was toward the development of a basic 
individual soldier who could wear equally well the insignia of any technical 
service. There was noticeable resistance on the part of the services to the 
sacrifice of individual service identification implied by this policy. This again 
is a question which must be considered in relation to progressive stages of 
mobilization. To have applied the concept of composite training of the in- 
dividual soldier at the start of the war may well have given validity to ob- 
jections of the technical services. Later, after the peak of mobilization had 
been passed, advantages of composite training became evident. Units by that 
time had assumed a definite mold and were able more easily to assimilate 
nondescript newcomers without risk of sacrifice to tradition and esprit. 

Among matters of technical training initially left to the discretion of the 
CWS was the question whether a soldier should be trained for duty in a 
specific type of chemical unit or for general assignment in any type of unit. 
This problem was complicated by the varied nature of CWS units. Replace- 
ments had to be trained for duty in mortar battalions and in smoke generator 
companies, for processing companies, and for air chemical companies. As 
long as there was assurance that men trained for specific types of chemical 
organizations would be assigned to those units, specialized training in the 
RTC course was advantageous. Such specialization was the rule at the outset 

* WD, MTP 21-2, 1 Aug 43. 



of the war. Of the five RTC lettered companies to which trainees were being 
assigned in December 1941, two were designated as weapons companies, 
two as chemical service (aviation) companies, and one as a decontamination 
company. 21 

In practice, it was found that the number of RTC trainees who actually 
reached the types of units for which they had been specifically trained was 
small. This was especially true as increasing numbers of RTC graduates 
began to move directly overseas. It was the uncertainties of the replacement 
depot system that forced a change from specialized to more general technical 

This fact is to be noted in comparing the original MTP 3-3 issued in 
November 1941 with the revision of this MTP dated May 1943. Technical 
training under the first program was on a functional basis and was intended 
to prepare replacements for assignment to one of seven specific combat or 
service type chemical units. Technical training under the 1943 program was 
aimed primarily at developing a basic chemical soldier. Specialization was 
here limited to a few individuals who in the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth 
weeks of training received special instructions as decontamination equipment 
operators, maintenance repairmen, toxic gas handlers, or as members of 
communication or mortar squads of chemical weapons companies. The num- 
ber of replacements currently needed in these particular categories was 
indicated to RTC headquarters by the OC CWS, according to existing troop 
requirements. In this way clearly foreseeable (and usually limited) needs 
for technical specialists were met under a program definitely oriented to the 
development of the type of replacement principally called for during the 
latter stages of the war — that is, a basically trained chemical soldier. 

The pattern of RTC training in the spring of 1943 was at once simple, 
flexible, and effective. All men assigned to a training company for the 
thirteen-week course received the same basic military training during the 
first four weeks; then, at the beginning of the technical training phase, a 
few men were usually selected for eight weeks of specialized schooling as 
cooks, clerks, motor vehicle operators, or automotive maintenance men. The 
remainder of the company at this point began instruction in the technique 
of chemical warfare, which was given for the next five weeks. Selected men 
were then screened out for the three weeks of specialized technical training 
referred to in the preceding paragraph, while all other trainees completed 
basic technical training. In the last week of the course the entire company 

21 Ltr, C CWS to TAG, 15 Dec 41, sub: T/O for CWS RTC. CWS 400/169 (12-8-41). 



was brought together again in unit exercises in which the specialists as well 
as the basic trainees learned to function as a team. 

Eighty percent or more of RTC graduates were listed as basic chemical 
soldiers. Early in the war they were assigned specification serial number 
(SSN) 521, a general classification which was not in fact indicative of the 
training they had received. A more descriptive designation was authorized 
by Technical Manual 12-427, 12 July 1944, which set up the classification 
"chemical warfare man, general (979)." This manual had the effect of 
sanctioning the training procedure already instituted, a chemical warfare 
basic soldier being described as one who had received technical training in 
the functioning of the 4.2-inch chemical mortar and also in the duties of 
chemical service units. In April 1945, the description of a chemical warfare 
basic soldier, SSN 979, was modified to exclude mortar training, 22 This 
change again regularized the training practice that evolved toward the end 
of the war, under which the AGF assumed responsibility for training re- 
placements for chemical combat units, while the CWS trained replacements 
for chemical service units. 

Although the number of men processed through the specialists schools 
conducted in conjunction with regular RTC training was relatively small, 
such instruction represented an important feature of the replacement train- 
ing program. The demand for administrative specialists — cooks, clerks, and 
automotive men who attended specialist schools during the entire eight-week 
period of technical training — was fairly constant. The requirement for chem- 
ical technicians who attended specialist schools during the last three weeks 
of the technical training phase of instruction began to fall off in the latter 
stage of replacement training; by this time units had learned to develop 
their own specialists and preferred to receive basically trained rather than 
specialist trained replacements. 

The lengthening of the training cycle to seventeen weeks in August 1943 
involved no essential change in technical training, which continued as be- 
fore to extend over eight weeks of the RTC course. The two additional 
weeks allowed at the beginning of the course for basic military training were 
intended to better preparation of the individual soldier for life in the combat 
zone. The two additional weeks provided for basic team or unit training 
was in substitution for the rounding out that earlier RTC graduates received 
after joining their organizations, but which under operational conditions 
after 1943 could no longer be assured to replacements. The final end product 

22 TM 12-427, C 1, 12 Apr 45. 



of RTC training was thus a more rounded soldier than his predecessor^ If 
he was not always exactly tailored to meet an overseas requirement, this 
circumstance must be attributed at least in part to the widely varying 
demands of global war. 

Training Procedures 

After the transfer of RTC activities from Maryland to Alabama, the 
training load followed an ascending curve until May 1943, when a total of 
5,850 replacement trainees were being accommodated. The plan of organiza- 
tion had to be flexible enough to permit both expansion and contraction. A 
second training regiment was organized in the spring of 1943. The following 
winter the second regiment was disbanded; six months later it had to be 

From the training viewpoint the important units were the platoon and 
the company. As already indicated, the company normally included 213 
trainees, but frequently it was necessary to assign as many as 300 trainees 
to one company. In such cases training suffered. The battalion had four 
training companies, or 852 men. Thus the CWS RTC, with two regiments 
of three battalions each, could handle 5,112 trainees. 

The system of integrated instruction at Edgewood, where the lieutenant 
commanding a training platoon taught his men nearly all the subjects in the 
MTP, had some obvious advantages. But as training programs were suc- 
cessively lengthened and developed, increasing specialization of instruction 
became necessary, so that a combination of both integrated and depart- 
mentalized instruction was eventually evolved. Under the thirteen- and seven- 
teen-week programs at Camp Sibert, the platoon leader instructed in all (or 
most) of the basic military subjects, while training in technical subjects was 
generally departmentalized. 

The decision of the War Department to mobilize a substantial number 
of chemical organizations during 1942 presented the immediate problem of 
providing suitable cadres around which these new units could be built. The 
limited number of existing chemical companies excluded the possibility of 
obtaining the necessary cadres from parent organizations. It therefore be- 
came necessary to fill cadre positions with replacement trainees. 

A special cadre training company was established at the Edgewood 
Arsenal RTC in June 1942. 23 Since some eight hundred cadremen had already 

23 Ltr, C CWS to Dir of Trig, SOS, 10 Apr 42, sub: Cadre Tng Company at CWS RTC. CWS 
320.2/780 (4-10-42). 



been shipped out from the RTC, the establishment of a cadre training com- 
pany at this time can be taken to mean that the system of simply selecting 
as cadre the more alert men who completed the regular RTC course was not 
satisfactory and that some specialized training for this type of duty was re- 
quired. Yet cadres for forty-eight chemical units were furnished from Edge- 
wood Arsenal between 1940 and 1943, most of these men being specially 
selected rather than specially trained. 

The cadre training company at Edgewood Arsenal followed the general 
pattern of the RTC specialist schools; at the end of the period of basic 
military training, selected men were transferred to the cadre company where 
for the remainder of the RTC course they received specialized instruction 
according to the needs of organizations requiring cadre complements. This 
procedure was amplified after transfer of the RTC to Camp Sibert, where 
only men who had completed the entire course of replacement training were 
selected for additional instruction as cadremen. Selection was made by a 
board of three officers and was based on demonstrated qualities of leader- 
ship, excellent character rating, and an Army General Classification Test 
rating of ninety or over. Throughout 1943, when the group of cadre trainees 
was usually in excess of one hundred this training was accomplished in four 
weeks of additional instruction. 

An important use of cadremen was in connection with the activation of 
the chemical mortar battalions authorized under the 1942 Troop Basis. 
Although responsibility for unit training of these battalions was delegated 
by the War Department to the Army Ground Forces, the Chemical Warfare 
Service was deeply interested in the training of weapons units and accord- 
ingly co-ordinated the early cadre training program quite closely with the 
AGF schedule for the activation of chemical battalions. 24 The needs of the 
mortar battalions received careful consideration, both in the selection of 
cadremen and in the attention given to their training. When these cadres left 
Camp Sibert, they carried with them charts and other training aids to assist 
in the work of instructing the newly activated weapons units. 

As the need for cadre development by the CWS RTC gradually fell off, 
an increasing number of chemical units completed their mobilization training 
and were thus expected under existing War Department policy to provide 
cadres for new units. 25 Yet by 1944 this procedure for developing selected 

"Memo, C CWS for CO CWS RTC, 22 Mar 42, sub: Cadre for Chemical Battalions. CWS 
320.2/762 (3-30-42). 

25 Memo, G-3 for CG AGF, i Oct 43, sub: Tng of Replacements for CW Combat & Serv 
Units. WDGCT 353 (28 Sep 43). 



RTC trainees for positions of leadership was producing such good results 
that in March the period of instruction was extended to nine weeks and 
established as a "leadership training course." When circumstances permitted, 
men who completed this training were frequently detailed to attend NCO 
courses at the Chemical Warfare School. 

A variation of the standard RTC course to meet Army Air Force require- 
ments for chemical warfare replacements was undertaken in December 1942. 
Under a procedure developed at that time, sixty-five AAF trainees were 
shipped to the CWS RTC every two weeks, after completion of four weeks 
of basic Air Force training. 26 Upon arrival, they entered the fifth week of 
instruction under MTP 3-3 at Camp Sibert, completing the course nine 
weeks later. They were then given four weeks of specialized instruction in 
the functions of either a chemical noncommissioned officer (SSN 870), a 
decontaminating equipment operator (SSN 809), or a toxic gas handler 
(SSN 786) . This program was continued throughout 1943. When terminated 
on 31 January 1944, it had produced 1,450 enlisted men technically trained 
for duty with various chemical activities of the AAF. 

A weakness of the RTC training organization was the inexperience of 
the instructors upon whom fell the principal burden of training. The NCO 
instructors of 1943 were often soldiers with less than six months of service. 
The platoon commanders in the training companies were in many cases OCS 
graduates who themselves were recent products of RTC training. Those in 
closest contact with the trainees, those whom the trainees were expected to 
emulate, were almost always individuals with meager military backgrounds. 
This was a situation that could only be improved by two courses of action: 
first, by continuous instruction of trainer personnel; and second, by close 
supervision of training. 

The facilities of the Chemical Warfare School at Edgewood Arsenal 
were never adequately used in the development of commissioned and enlisted 
instructors for RTC duty. Had the school been located at the training center 
during 1943, undoubtedly it would have played a more important role in 
this connection. As it was, the RTC had to depend upon its own resources for 
fitting its instructional staff to the specific work at hand. 

Such preassignment training was accomplished by means of courses of 
instruction for both officers and enlisted men which were conducted, after 
the spring of 1943, in conjunction with the system of specialist schools. 
These courses included intensive study of the important subjects covered in 

M Ltr t Tng Div OC CWS to Dir Mil Tng SOS, 14 Nov 42, sub: Tech Tng of Enlisted Pers 
and Services with AAF. CWS 353 Camp Sibert, 1943, 



MTP training as well as of approved instructional procedures. After assign- 
ment, instructors continued their training in troop schools held twice weekly 
under the provisions of MTP 3-3. Another measure to strengthen training 
procedure was the institution of nightly cadre meetings at which the officer 
and NCO staff of each training company met to review and plan instruction 
scheduled for the following day. Instructors also were frequently detached to 
attend courses at other service schools. By these means the capability of 
instructors was gradually improved. It was not until late in the war that 
veterans with combat zone experience became available for training center 

Officer Pools 

The officer pool was a necessary device for adjusting variations between 
the supply of and the demand for commissioned officers. Its most important 
function was to serve as a reservoir for the temporary storage of excess 
officers until they could be absorbed into the military system. As long as the 
overproduction of officers was not great, pools presented no serious ad- 
ministrative problems. But when as was the case by midsummer of 1943, 
one out of every four CWS officers was being carried in a pool, the require- 
ments for accommodating and training so many individuals became unduly 
heavy. The evils of officer pools were an inevitable consequence of large 
officer surpluses, which in turn came about as an incidental result of the 
unevenness of military mobilization. The War Department undertook to 
keep officer production in line with military needs, particularly by regulating 
the output of officer candidate schools. Where early forecasts of requirements 
erred, mistakes were in the direction of too many rather than too few. While 
the situation of the Chemical Warfare Service in this respect was somewhat 
aggravated by uncertainties as to gas warfare as well as by delays in the 
mobilization of chemical troop units, the upswing from a paucity to an over- 
production of officers, which became evident after two years of war, was 
reflected in the make-up of all technical services. 

Late in 1941, when commissioned officers were in short supply, pools 
were sponsored by the War Department, especially in order to insure avail- 
ability of filler and loss replacements as needed. The pools at first were 
therefore associated with replacement centers and were in fact designated 
as replacement pools. The CWS was initially authorized a pool strength of 
150 officers. 27 This quota thus became included in officer procurement ob- 

21 Ltr, AGO to Chiefs, Arms and Services, 19 Dec 41. Sub: Officer Filler and Loss Replace- 
ments. AG 320.2 (12-15-41) OP-A— M. 



jectives. Once the Officer Candidate School began to produce more graduates 
than could immediately be absorbed, this authorized strength was disregarded 
and the pool became a means by which unneeded officers could mark time 
until their services were finally required. This situation extended over a 
period of many months. 

The first CWS officer pool was established at Edgewood Arsenal, where 
before long it began to impinge upon the already complicated activities of 
that post. As soon as conditions permitted, a second pool was established at 
Camp Sibert By the end of 1942, CWS officer pools had also been set up 
at other arsenals and in procurement district headquarters. At the latter 
stations, officers in pools were given on-the-job training in manufacturing, 
procurement, and supply operations. They were rotated occasionally in types 
of activity other than their specialty. 28 At both Edgewood and Sibert pool, 
officers were organized into self-commanded provisional units which fol- 
lowed successive training courses extending to eight weeks. At the height of 
the pool load in the spring of 1943 the numbers of CWS officers carried in 
pools totaled 2,005, distributed as follows: 29 

Camp Sibert 686 

Chemical Warfare Center 742 

Arsenals 152 

Procurement districts , 376 

Other stations 49 

The administration of CWS officer pools was complicated by the fact 
that the excessively populated pools were located in fifteen different places 
in the zone of interior. The maintenance of a centralized and uniform con- 
trol of these groups presented serious difficulties which never were fully 
resolved. At Camp Sibert the operation of the local pool became a responsi- 
bility of the Unit Training Center. 30 Some effort was made to centralize the 
administration of all pools from Sibert, although this scheme was later 
dropped and the co-ordination of pool activities was resumed by the office 
of the Chief, CWS. In these matters, both Personnel and Training Divisions 
were concerned. The responsibility of each organization was clear-cut; Per- 

"(i) Ltr, C Tng Div OC CWS to CG ASF, 20 Jul 43, sub: Tng of Officers Assigned to CWS 
Officer Replacement Pool. (2) Ltr, C CWS to CG ASF, 25 Jan 44, sub: Officer Replacement 
Pools. Both in CWS 353. 

29 Ltr, C CWS to ASF, 15 Jun 43, sub: Tng Programs for Officers Assigned to Army Serv 
Forces Officers Replacement Pools. CWS 353.11. 

30 Memo, CG ASF to CG Fourth Serv Comd, 22 Jun 43, sub: CWS UTC at Camp Sibert, Ala. 
CWS 314.7 Tng File. 



sonnel Division shifted individuals from pools into appropriate jobs as soon 
as these became open, while the Training Division undertook to see that 
pool officers were profitably engaged without burdening the installations 
where they were assigned. The fact that the CWS never appeared able or 
willing to assign qualified and experienced officers to the tasks of devising 
really satisfactory solutions to the troublesome pool problems was probably 
due to the optimistic hope that in time the pools would empty themselves. 
Toward the end of hostilities this situation did ease in considerable measure, 
although by then the usefulness of many emergency officers had been im- 
paired by periods of stagnation in zone of interior pools as well as in over- 
seas theaters. 

Supervisory Control 

Although the CWS Replacement Training Center eventually attained 
high standards of training efficiency, these were reached only after the lapse 
of considerable time and while a suitable organization was being forged at 
both operating and supervisory levels. It was the immediate responsibility 
of Training Division, OC CWS, to direct and control the activities of the 
replacement training center — first, under the general authority of the War 
Department General Staff, G-3; and, after March 1942, as supervised by 
the Military Training Division, ASF. 

In March 1942, four agencies were involved in the direction of RTC 
training. These were: War Department General Staff, G-3, which remained 
the ultimate authority on matters of training doctrine and policy, but whose 
functions after 1942 were usually limited to co-ordination among the AGF, 
the AAF, and the ASF; the Director, Military Personnel Division, ASF, who 
controlled the flow of trainees into and out of the centers; 31 The Director of 
Military Training, ASF, who prepared the military training program and 
established instructional standards for all centers; and the Chief of the 
Technical Service, whose training staff prepared the program for technical 
training, arranged for provision of training facilities (including personnel), 
established quotas for specialist training, and conducted inspections to insure 
compliance with standard directives. This division of operating responsibility 
was clear-cut, logical, and satisfactory. The injection of the service command 
into this picture in 1943 came too late to affect the bulk of CWS training. 

Before the 1942 reorganization, while training centers were under the 

81 Millett, Army Service Forces, pp. 158-59. 



direct control of the War Department General Staff, considerable latitude 
had been allowed the technical branches in conducting replacement and other 
training. The primary concern of G-3 was the training of combat units; and 
the prewar staff was never adequate to handle this all-important function. 
In assuming responsibility for control of all supply services training, Brig. 
Gen, Clarence R. Huebner, ASF Director of Military Training, soon made 
his influence felt, first in stimulating the strictly military phase of the train- 
ing program, and eventually in improving the quality as well as increasing 
the scope of training activities in general. 

The Training Division, OC CWS, therefore found strong support from 
above for its replacement training program. Yet the center itself, as it 
approached the peak of its activities at the beginning of 1943, was suffering 
from severe growing pains. As long as the camp was still under construction, 
while barracks and ranges were still unavailable, and while Camp Sibert lay 
under a flood of unusual winter rains, shortcomings in training did not 
always show up distinctly. An inspecting officer then commented: "In spite 
of most severe handicaps a very creditable showing is being made at this 
center/' 32 

Yet a comprehensive inspection of the CWS RTC by the executive 
officer of the Training Division, OC CWS, in January 1943 indicated that, 
as the "severe handicaps" of 1942 were eliminated, commensurate improve- 
ment of training performance did not result. At the time of this inspection 
the replacement trainee load was 5,300. There were also fifty-eight chemical 
units in training or being activated for training at Camp Sibert. The opera- 
tional distinction between RTC and UTC was not recognized to the extent 
that a separate command organization was provided for each — a fault of OC 
CWS which was soon corrected. The increase in the training load had not 
been accompanied by a corresponding increase in instructor personnel; the 
RTC staff was understrength, due especially to a dearth of qualified officers. 
Supervisory control of training by RTC headquarters was inadequate. Period 
outlines for guidance of instructors were not being used so that teaching 
methods varied and the use of training aids was ineffectual. Units went 
through the motions of complying with instructions from higher authority 
but without sparking their work with energy and imagination. Poor prepara- 
tion, hesitancy, and indecision on the part of company officers were notice- 
able. Supervision by field grade officers of the tactical work of units left 

"Memo, Lt Col C. D. Hill for Dir of Trig SOS, 17 Oct 42, sub: Inspection of CWS RTC. 
SOS SPTRR 333.1 (Camp Sibert) (10-17-42). 



much to be desired. 33 These findings were confirmed by an ASF inspection 
conducted 26-29 January 1943. 34 

In a visit to Camp Sibert late in January 1943, General Porter reviewed 
the training situation and determined what assistance could be given the 
undermanned training organization. He then took steps which resulted in 
marked improvement of RTC training during and after the spring of 1943. 
Orders were issued 14 February designating separate commanders for RTC 
and UTC Experienced Regular Army colonels were assigned to command 
the two RTC regiments. The officer complement of the center was increased 
from 152 to 196. 35 An effective control section was established for continuous 
inspection of training and improvement of training methods and training 
aids. General tightening of supervision brought about more effective com- 
pliance with the training precepts found in Field Manual 21-5, with the 
consequent production of consistently better trained replacements. 

The centralized control of training aids was a definite improvement 
which could profitably have been instituted earlier. Many training tools were 
continually in short supply; for example, the center never had on hand more 
than one hundred compasses or approximately four hundred sets of intrench- 
ing tools. It was thus necessary to spread the use of limited materiel as well 
as to produce effective visual aids to training. Under arrangements eventually 
adopted, companies upon arrival at designated areas for scheduled instruc- 
tion found a truck loaded with the necessary instructional materials. De- 
velopment, procurement, and distribution of training aids were all controlled 
by the RTC directors of training and supply. 

Unquestionably, the morale of both trainees and instructor staff at the 
CWS RTC began to improve with the completion of permanent barracks 
and, with the use of the splendid training facilities, the center eventually 
obtained. Better housing and better training combined, after the spring of 
1943, to raise the CWS RTC to the level of an almost model installation. 
This improvement is reflected in the report of an inspection made a year 
later which gives an objective picture of a fully integrated training center 
whose growing pains were well behind it. 36 

83 Memo, Maj F. R. Williams, CWS, for C CWS, 14 Jan 43, sub: Reporting Inspection of CWS. 
RTC, 4-7 Jan 43- CWS 314.7 Tng File. 

34 Memo, Lt Col W. C. Fisher for Dir of Tng ASF, 4 Feb 43, sub: Inspection of CWS RTC. 
ASF SPTRR 333.1 (Camp Sibert) (2-4-43). 

35 The CWS RTC was authorized a commissioned strength of 250 officers. 2d Ind, ASF to C 
CWS, 31 Mar 43, sub: Allotment of Officers, CWS RTC. ASF SPGAO 320.2 CWS (3-5-43). 

" Memo, Lt Col James D. Strong and Capt Douglas A. Craig for Dir Mil Tng ASF, 5 Apr 44, 
sub: Inspection of CWS RTC ASF ASPTT 333.1 (CWS) (5 Apr 44). 



By this time (1944) the center was organized into two training regi- 
ments; one regiment conducted general basic military training, and the other 
CWS replacement training. In commenting on the latter, the inspectors 

In technical training this center has developed a number of ingenious and excel- 
lent training devices whereby such subjects as toxic gas handling, impregnation 
procedure, depot operations, and decontamination operations are taught effectively. In 
some cases exceedingly clever yet practical training has resulted where there may be a 
lack of technical training doctrine. It is believed that this is one of the functions in 
which a replacement training center can lend much to the established doctrine. 37 

After Camp Sibert had been designated as a Class I activity of the Fourth 
Service Command in May 1943, CWS activities at the camp were limited 
to the promulgation of training doctrine, the establishment of student 
quotas, and the preparation of training programs. While this system was 
workable, it appears likely that had gas warfare materialized CWS control 
of the installation would have become necessary. 

Movement of Trainees 

Under the operating procedure prior to 1942, the training center com- 
mander reported to The Adjutant General every ten days the number of 
inductees he could accommodate within the RTC capacity set by the War 
Department. On the basis of these reports, the AGO directed reception 
centers to send to each replacement center enough selectees to keep the 
center operating at full capacity. 

At the beginning of RTC operations at Edgewood Arsenal, when capacity 
was rated at eight hundred white and two hundred Negro trainees, The 
Adjutant General found that the most convenient procedure was to fill the 
camp to capacity and then ship no more trainees until after the camp was 
emptied at the end of the training cycle. This procedure was followed for 
the first two groups of trainees while the eight-week MTP was in effect. 
Beginning with the first thirteen-week cycle in September 1941 The Adjutant 
General began the practice of moving troops in and out at weekly (or bi- 
weekly) intervals, thus maintaining a steady flow of men through the 

The 1 94 1 procedures were elaborated somewhat to meet the pressure of 




wartime operations. In 1942 The Adjutant General began to issue early each 
month a tabulated schedule indicating proposed movement of inductees from 
reception centers to fill RTCs for the month following. For example, Camp 
Sibert was informed by mid- June 1943 that a total of 1,675 trainees would 
be received during July. 38 

Weekly reports submitted by the replacement training centers advised 
TAG of enlisted men who would complete the training course one month 
later. 39 For example, the report from Camp Sibert on 29 June 1943 advised 
that during the week of July 26-31 following, there would be available for 
shipment 401 graduates with qualifications as indicated: 40 

Classification SSN Trainees Available 

Truck drivers, light 345 41 

Automobile mechanics 014 7 

Toxic gas handlers 786 5 

Decontamination equipment operators 809 4 

Clerk-typists 405 4 

Cooks 060 11 

Nonspecialists 521 329 

Appropriate orders were issued in due course by The Adjutant General 
according to the priority of requisitions for replacements then on hand. 
First consideration was given to calls for loss replacements for overseas 
units. Next, requisitions were filled from units preparing for overseas move- 
ment. Remaining RTC graduates were supplied as cadres or, finally, as fillers 
for other zone of interior units. 

Procedure for intake of personnel was modified after the peak of train- 
ing activities had been passed, when TAG began the practice of informing 
training centers of the total number of trainees they could expect during 
specific four-week periods. This number was set for the Camp Sibert RTC 
as 276 white trainees for the four weeks beginning 30 January 1944, a 
figure which was changed from time to time as circumstances necessitated. 41 

38 Ltr, TAG to All RTCs, et aL, 7 Jun 43, sub: Schedule of Allotments and Movements of 
Enlisted Men to RTCs for July 1943. AG 220.3 (6-7-43) OC-S-M. 

"These reports were submitted in compliance with AGO Memorandum No. W615-58-42, 
23 Nov 42. 

W CWS 314.7 RTC File. 

41 Ltr, TAG to C CWS, 4 Jan 44, sub: Intake of Pers RTCs. CWS 320.2 ASF Tng Centers 



Curtailment of the Program 

Even before the RTC installation at Camp Sibert was fully completed, 
it became apparent that its capacity would soon be in excess of foreseeable 
chemical warfare requirements. The job of individual training, which had 
loomed so large in the spring of 1942, was about to shrink to a replace- 
ment-attrition basis. A splendid training facility, urgently needed at the 
beginning of the war and finally built at heavy expense, came too late to 
serve adequately the purpose for which it was originally intended. By the 
middle of 1943 ASF planners, appreciating this situation, were beginning to 
seek other uses for this plant. 

Reduction of capacity of the CWS RTC from 5,000 to 1,500 ASF 
trainees was announced in August 1943 in a blanket action which affected 
all ASF training centers. Within this limit, the monthly reception rate of 
the Camp Sibert center was established at 300 white and no Negro trainees. 42 
This figure was computed to provide replacements for estimated normal 
attrition and battle losses, without distinction between combat and service 
chemical units. 43 It proved somewhat low in view of the increased require- 
ments for replacements which developed in early 1944 as a result of the 
Italian campaign. In March 1944 the ASF raised the CWS RTC capacity 
to 2,750 trainees with a monthly input of 500. 44 

Nevertheless, after the midsummer of 1943 the peak of technical RTC 
training at Camp Sibert had been passed. The distinctive character of the 
center as a chemical warfare training facility began to change as it was 
increasingly utilized for more general training activities. The CWS was 
anxious that the good instructional organization and facility that had been 
developed should be maintained against the continuing possibility of gas 
warfare, and for this reason opportunities for undertaking other training 
missions were welcomed. One of these came with the establishment of the 
Fourth Service Command Basic Training Center at Camp Sibert on 24 
December 1943. After this date, all service command personnel lacking 
basic military training received this instruction in conjunction with chemical 
troops. Beginning in January 1944, the same six-week course of basic train- 

"Ltr, CG ASF to C CWS, et d. t 28 Aug 43, sub: ASF RTCs. AG 354.1 (20 Aug 43) 
OC— E-SPTRR-M. Beginning with the September 1943 increments, no more Negro troops were 
sent to t he RTC at Sibert. The last Negro troops left the RTC in November 1943. 

43 See |Note 2 5, | above. 

44 ASF Cir 66, 6 Mar 44. 



ing was also given to all Special Service enlisted men. 45 Finally, in April 
1944, the ASF announced the plan of redesignating as "Army Service Forces 
Training Centers" the existing training installations which had originally 
served the technical branches as replacement and unit training centers. 46 
This move permitted a pooling of ASF training facilities which was neces- 
sitated by critical manpower shortages then existing; it was at the same 
time a tacit recognition of the fact that the major portion of the job of 
specialized technical training of inductees had been completed. 

Certainly by the summer of 1944 chemical warfare technical training 
at Camp Sibert was shrinking fast. Unit training of chemical organizations 
was by that time virtually completed. Responsibility for training of loss 
replacements for chemical battalions had been transferred from the Chemical 
Warfare Service to the Army Ground Forces. Requirements for loss replace- 
ments for chemical service units had diminished with the stabilization of 
these organizations. Despite the fact that additional general basic training 
was being undertaken at Camp Sibert, the total training load was still less 
than the minimum considered by the staff as justifying retention of a train- 
ing center installation. 

In addition to the normal tendency of any government agency to con- 
tinue under the momentum it has developed long after the initial impetus 
has ceased, another consideration influenced the reluctance of the CWS to 
see this center abandoned. Camp Sibert was the only training center where 
toxic chemicals could be used freely in tactical exercises; if combat employ- 
ment of gas should be undertaken, this installation would be urgently 
needed. In an effort to avert the closing of the center, the Chemical Warfare 
Service made several proposals: 

a. That the Army Ground Forces send chemical battalions to Camp 
Sibert for advanced training in the firing of toxic gas before being committed 
for overseas movement. 

b. That the AGF utilize the facilities available at Camp Sibert for train- 
ing of replacements for chemical combat units. 

c. That the CWS officer candidate school be transferred from Edgewood 
Arsenal to Camp Sibert. 47 

45 These were entertainers who were members of the Special Services, ASF. See Millett, Army 
Service Forces, p. 348. 

48 ASF Cir 104, Sec. Ill, 15 Apr 44. 

* T Ltr, AC CWS to Dir Mil Tng ASF, 14 Aug 44, sub: Utilization of Camp Sibert, Alabama. 
CWS 314 7 Tng File. 



Although these proposals did not materialize, final action on the discon- 
tinuance of Camp Sibert was deferred until 1945; this along with four other 
ASF training centers was closed in April of that year. 48 

Subsequent replacement training was conducted under a plan by which 
inductees designated for duty with chemical units received basic military 
training at the ASF training center at Camp Lee, Va., after which they were 
sent to Edgewood Arsenal on detached service for the technical training 
called for by current MTP's. 49 This plan was one of the most promising of 
several that had been tried in connection with replacement training between 
1941 and 1945. It appeared to satisfy ASF insistence upon interchangeability 
of trainees, since after completion of the course at the ASF training center 
the soldier could be sent to any one of several technical training centers for 
the remainder of his replacement instruction. It made and held the technical 
training center responsible only for technical training, thus bringing to an 
end the long and sometimes futile attempt to make the technical branch 
trainer an expert in general combat. It gave the CWS absolute control of 
training at the place where this control was most needed, that is, in con- 
nection with the technical aspects of chemical warfare. 

This arrangement did not undergo an exhaustive test since, in the closing 
phase of the war, CWS replacement training diminished almost to the 
vanishing point. During July 1944, trainees were being received at Camp 
Sibert at the rate of 550 every four weeks. Thereafter incoming shipments 
declined steadily. In June 1945, replacements were being received for tech- 
nical training at Edgewood Arsenal at the rate of only thirty-two every four 
weeks. 50 

Development of the CWS replacement training program was retarded 
substantially by the transfer of the RTC from Edgewood Arsenal to Camp 
Sibert during the summer of 1942. A year later a quite satisfactory level of 
training operation had been attained, but the fact remains that men who 
passed through the RTC during the last half of 1942, when the need for 
well-trained replacements was most urgent, were not able to obtain the 
quality of training to which they were entitled. This was not necessarily a 
fault of those conducting or supervising CWS training. The difficulty was 
implicit in circumstances affecting the entire CWS program. 

48 Ltr, ASF to CG Fourth SC, et al., 8 Feb 45, sub: Discontinuance of ASF TCs. AG SPX 
354.1 (5 Feb 45) OB-I-SPMDC 

49 Ltr, CG ASF to CG Third SC, et al, 4 Apr 45, sub: Movement of CWS Pers and Equip- 
ment, ASFTC, Camp Sibert, Ala. AG SPX 370.5 (3 Apr 45) OB-S-SPMOT-M. 

50 Rpt of CWS, 1945, p. 86. 



The CWS RTC operated within a rigidly prescribed orbit. Within this 
orbit it had some leeway, principally in the matter of technical training. Yet 
the time-bounds of instruction, both technical and military, were set by the 
ASF. As regards military training, there was never occasion for the Chemical 
Warfare Service to question directives which constantly emphasized the need 
for developing combat effectiveness in the technical soldier; reports from 
theater chemical officers invariably placed more stress on military than on 
technical proficiency. The training standards set by the ASF were high; if 
operating agencies were sometimes left breathless in pursuing them, they 
always recognized that the raising of training sights resulted in a superior 
RTC output. As difficulties and handicaps, both operational and instruc- 
tional, were successively overcome the CWS replacement trainee finally 
began to emerge with the regularity of a production-line item. However, 
the question arose whether the rigidity of the process did not at times work 
against the flexibility of the product. 

Actually the output of replacement (or individual) training centers 
needed to be shaped into four distinct patterns. The outlines of these distinc- 
tive products were not foreseen with clarity when the centers were projected 
in 1935. In the afterlight of war experience they stand out as: Replacements 
for zone of interior units; fillers for zone of interior units; cadres for new 
organizations; and replacements for theater of operation units. 

Replacement of administrative losses in military organizations that still 
were training in the United States was the requirement easiest to fill. Once 
the soldier had received a modicum of basic training, it was not too difficult 
for him to swing into step with an outfit that was still some distance short 
of readiness for combat and to complete his more advanced training with 
comrades with whom he expected to share campaign experiences. If replace- 
ment training was to be shortened anywhere, it was at this point that cur- 
tailment could best be afforded. 

Fillers for newly constituted units that were starting out, with no more 
than cadres, on the long road to military proficiency, should have been well- 
trained RTC products. When they were, development of the unit was 
relatively rapid. Unfortunately neither the ASF nor the AGF replacement 
centers were large enough to satisfy this need for fillers, so that all too often 
it was necessary to shunt recruits directly from reception centers to field 

The cadreman was the most important single product of replacement 
training — not numerically, but with regard to his influence in the shaping 
of new and unparented organizations. The CWS RTC had been operating 



more than a year before a clear-cut solution to the cadre training problem 
was devised. Meanwhile the thin line of early chemical units was depleted 
by constant calls for cadres. The need for cadres was urgent only during 
the early stages of mobilization; thereafter this need was negligible. As was 
true with many aspects of training, by the time an ideal solution to the 
problem had been devised, it was found that the problem no longer existed. 

Both fillers and loss replacements for zone of interior units were individ- 
ually trained soldiers who were expected to receive final team training with 
the units they joined. This was all that was expected of replacement training 
and all actually that was needed. Before proceeding to a theater of opera- 
tions, the unit still had time to accommodate newcomers. But once the unit 
was overseas, this situation changed radically. There was no opportunity 
during combat to devote much attention to incoming replacements. The new 
arrivals had to be tailored to fit; they needed team training as well as in- 
dividual training before assignment; and all together they were, or should 
have been, quite finished RTC products. By the time demands for replace- 
ments for the theaters became insistant, requirements for domestic units had 
slackened appreciably. And with the Chemical Warfare Service, calls for 
overseas loss replacements were less than had been anticipated. The one un- 
correctible failure of the replacement center system as a whole was its 
inability to supply fillers for all new units that had to be manned during 
1942 and 1943. This and other inadequacies of the replacement centers may 
possibly be traced to the fact that in early planning the replacement function 
was unduly emphasized. In the CWS it appears that adequate provision for 
training of fillers for chemical units was not made, although this proved to 
be numerically the most important aspect of individual training of enlisted 

While there were differences in types of RTC trainees, the underlying 
requirement for the newly inducted soldier was recruit training. Confusion 
would have been avoided and better training provided if the replacement 
installations from the start had been designed and designated as basic 
training centers. 


Training of Chemical Units 

Of the 298 chemical units in existence at the cessation of hostilities (2 
Sept ember 194 5), all but 14 were mobilized after the Pearl Harbor attack. 
{See Table 9,]) Taking into account organizations reconstituted and dis- 

banded, a total of 383 chemical units and 31 platoons and detachments were 
activated while the war was in progress. 1 This unparalleled expansion, un- 
expected and not provided for in prewar planning, gave rise to a number 
of problems in connection with unit training. 

The Building of Military Organizations 

The creation of a new military organization involved much more than 
mobilizing the personnel and materiel called for by tables of organization 
and equipment. The assembly of the officers, cadre, and fillers at a given 
time and place was akin to the act of conception. The period of unit train- 
ing which followed was in reality a period of gestation, the requirements 
of which had to be fully satisfied before the organization could emerge to 
a status of functional unity. The mobilization training program was merely 
a systematic working pattern under which this objective could be accom- 
plished within a given time — eight weeks, thirteen weeks, seventeen weeks 
— the period of gestation varying as the war progressed. 

From the start the unit contained an embryo, the cadre. This included 
noncommissioned officers and a handful of key enlisted specialists, all having 
needed know-how. The cadre was presumably trained and competent. During 
the period of unit training, the cadre's knowledge and experience was ex- 
pected to extend throughout the organization until finally the entire company 
could attain the cadre's level of competence. 

Individual Training by Units 

In order to insure uniformly successful unit training it was important 
that properly prepared components be provided for assembly into a com- 

*App. H. In addition to the units listed in this appendix, 142 CWS units were activated at 
various AAF fields on a provisional basis between August 1940 and September 1942. 



pleted end product. The officers had to have preliminary training in order 
to insure that they would be able to train the men of their unit and eventually 
lead them into action. The cadre had to be selected carefully either from 
the ranks of veteran units or from likely RTC graduates. Basically trained 
personnel ready to learn the business of military teamwork were needed to 
fill the organization to authorized strength. During 1942 and 1943 all of 
these desiderata could seldom be satisfied. In the matter of fillers, for 
example, new units constantly had to be assigned awkward inductees, a 
development which necessitated some compromise between replacement 
training and unit training. 

To observe the technical distinction that exists between these two types 
of training was often impossible. Unit training as such could not be at- 
tempted until the individual training of the soldier was at least well ad- 
vanced. Yet as a matter of general policy the War Department decided 
early in 1942 that individual training would have to be undertaken to a 
large extent within units. This decision meant in reality that when untrained 
fillers were received by a newly activated unit (as was normally the case), 
they had to be given basic military training by the officers and cadre of the 
organization before actual unit training could be undertaken. Thus much 
that went by the name of unit training was actually preunit training con- 
ducted by the organization. 

A more orderly arrangement would have been completion of individual 
training at the replacement training center, with the unit training center 
left free to concentrate on its proper function. 2 Where, as at Camp Sibert, 
unit and replacement training organizations conducted recruit instruction 
simultaneously, it was not always easily justified. Yet there was at least one 
advantage to the latter arrangement, which of necessity was so often fol- 
lowed. Officers who accompanied the men of their unit through the individ- 
ual as well as the teamwork stage of military education came to know and 
understand them intimately. 

Which of these two systems was preferable? Is it more advantageous to 
train the inductee in the elements of soldiering at the replacement center 
and limit UTC instruction to the development of military teamwork? Or 
should newly activated units develop their own fillers and rely on the RTC 
for loss replacement only ? Although the second scheme worked satisfactorily 
in the training of chemical units during World War II, it does not neces- 
sarily follow that it is the better arrangement. Certainly it was adopted 

2 This arrangement eventually became possible, but not unti l the summ er of 1944 when the 
chemical unit training program was almost completed. See below, [page 324.I 



through necessity rather than by choice. The problem must also be con- 
sidered in relation to the evolution of chemical warfare training during the 
war. A significant training development was the shift, already mentioned in 
connection with replacement training, from the specialized individual train- 
ing of 1941 to the generalized individual training of 1944. If the chemical 
soldier of the future is to be developed in basic training as an all-round 
rather than a specialized individual, he should receive his elementary military 
training before he joins his unit. 

Purposes of Unit Training 

The basic military training of inductees, whether conducted in a unit or 
a replacement training center, was essentially the same. What unit training 
undertook was to advance the organization from that state of functional 
ineptitude characteristic of the newly activated company to a plateau of 
capability where the unit, with all of its members working in unison, could 
competently perform the specialized military function for which it was 

Chemical unit training, like individual training, had its nontechnical 
phase and its technical phase. It comprised military subjects that could be 
taught by any fairly competent military instructor, and it comprised technical 
subjects which only specialists in chemical warfare could teach. In unit as 
in replacement training, there were tendencies to overemphasize the tech- 
nical aspects of training in certain instances and to depreciate them in other 

Before they could be committed to a theater of operations, units had to 
know how to live in the field as well as how to perform their technical 
functions in the field. They had to be able to pack and transport their equip- 
ment — whether a chemical laboratory or a smoke generator — and to set up 
and begin operations where needed in the combat zone. And if they hoped 
to operate very long in World War II, they had to become skillful in with- 
standing enemy attack. This meant they had to be proficient in camouflage; 
resolute under aerial bombing; prepared to defend their positions against 
paratroopers or infiltrators; in short to be wise in all the methods of modern 
warfare. Military training requirements included camouflage technique as 
well as collective protection against gas attack, defense tactics as well as the 
art of living comfortably in bivouac. These things had to be taught to units 
while they were mastering their technical functions and before they could 
be passed out of the stage of unit training. 



CWS Participation in Unit Training 

The development of chemical units was complicated by the varying 
sources of authority for their initial training, a situation that in turn was an 
incidental result of the ground-air-service setup under which the Army 
operated during the World War II. Since this logical pattern of organiza- 
tion had not been considered in mobilization planning, all of its implications 
were not appreciated in advance. The virtual autonomy of the Army Air 
Forces had been anticipated, and the role of the Chemical Warfare Service 
in training chemical personnel for service with the Air Forces had been re- 
duced to an acceptable procedure. But the relationship between the CWS and 
an independent ground force command produced unforeseen problems. 

Unit Training Responsibility 

In July 1 94 1, G-3 delegated to the newly established Army Air Forces 
authority to activate all units, including service, for duty with air — yet 
retained within the General Staff control of activation of all other units. 
This arrangement continued until March 1942, when the reorganization of 
the War Department made possible and even necessitated decentralizing 
the work of activating and training other-than-air units, specifically, ground 
combat and service organizations. The reorganization directive indicated 
that the AGF would train ground force units; that the ASF would train 
units under its jurisdiction; and that the AAF would train tactical air units. 3 
This simple division of unit training responsibility proved unsatisfactory 
to the ground and air commands. New War Department instructions issued 
in May established the more acceptable policy that the prospective zone of 
employment would determine the command that should train the unit. 4 

Under the revised policy, training responsibilities of Army Service 
Forces extended only to those service units that were organized to operate 
ASF-type installations and activities, including overseas service or communi- 
cation zone operations. Ground and air forces became responsible for train- 
ing both tactical and noncombat units organized for operation within their 
respective commands. 5 Flexibility under this policy was provided by authoriz- 

3 WD Cir 59, 2 Mar 42. 

4 Memo, ACofS G-3 for CGs AGF, AAF, SOS, 30 May 42, sub: Responsibility for Training. 
WDGCT 353 (5-30—42). See Palmer, Wiley, and Keast, Procurement and Training of Ground 
Combat Units, pp. 504-05. 

5 Similar responsibility was given the defense commands, which already were involved in 
activation of chemical smoke units. 



ing the shifting of unit training responsibility by mutual agreement among 
the AGF, the AAF, and the ASF in order to make better use of existing 
facilities and to avoid duplication of effort. The CWS thus trained a number 
of chemical service units at the request of the senior combat commands. 

Mortar Battalions 

The combat traditions of chemical troops were inherited from World 
War I, when these troops first appeared as the offspring of combat engineers. 
The early chemical troops had one mission only — to attack the enemy with 
chemical weapons. The use of chemical warfare units for such work as 
impregnating clothing against vesicant fumes and destroying persistent 
enemy agents developed much later. These service functions of the CWS 
increased in importance during the peacetime years when CWS combatant 
functions were being minimized. 6 But this trend was neither understood nor 
fully accepted by the majority of CWS officers, who assumed that once the 
use of gas began their branch would be in the front line of offensive action. 
Duty with chemical mortar battalions was therefore eagerly sought by 
combat-minded officers. 

Throughout the entire period of the war there was never any question 
as to where these battalions belonged. They were mobilized by the Army 
Ground Forces, and the Army Ground Forces zealously retained responsi- 
bility for their unit training. The Chemical Warfare Service was at no time 
fully reconciled to the latter arrangement and sought to take an active part 
in at least the technical training of chemical mortar battalions. 

The attitude of General McNair's staff on this point was that the 
Ordnance Department supplied high explosive shells but did not dictate 
their tactical employment by the Field Artillery; that by the same token, the 
CWS should provide the chemical agents and leave to the field forces the 
task of employing them. This appeared to be sound reasoning. The question 
the CWS raised was whether these units could be properly trained for effec- 
tive employment under a command that lacked sympathy with their tactical 

The two battalions which the Chief of Staff first authorized for activation 
in September 1941 were not actually mobilized until January 1942. By that 
time the activation of four more battalions had been authorized. Two of the 
additional battalions were mobilized in April and two in June 1942. These 

8 See above, 

Chapter II. 



six battalions were created for the primary purpose of providing the U.S. 
Army with means of retaliating with gas in ground operations. Since they 
represented an important feature of the War Department's program for 
improving readiness for gas warfare, the CWS felt considerable responsi- 
bility for their technical competence. The battalions fired smoke, yet this 
mission alone could not justify their existence. Their employment in firing 
high explosive shell had been proposed by the CWS but was not at this time 
(spring of 1942) authorized by the General Staff. The original proposal of 
General Porter that chemical battalions be activated at the rate of one per 
infantry division was rejected in favor of the plan for mobilizing units on 
the basis of "special projects." This was taken to mean, in effect, that when 
gas warfare began or appeared to be imminent, additional battalions pro- 
vided for under the 1942 Troop Basis would be activated. 

The battalions activated or expanded in the winter and early spring of 
1942 received their initial cadres from existing chemical units. On 1 January, 
Company C of the 2d Chemical Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga., was in- 
activated and its personnel were transferred to the newly activated 3d 
Separate Chemical Battalion (Motorized). Two weeks later Headquarters 
Company and Company A of the 2d Battalion moved from their station at 
Edgewood to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, but the 2d Battalion did not reach 
full strength until Companies B, C, and D were activated in April. 7 Addi- 
tional personnel for these battalions came from the Infantry, the Coast 
Artillery, the Medical Department, and the CWS Replacement Training 
Center. Officers and enlisted men in both battalions were of high caliber 
and, spurred on by the memory of the recent Pearl Harbor attack, they were 
anxious to do a particularly good job. Each battalion had some officers who 
understood infantry tactics, a requirement in the training of the units for 
infantry support. 8 

As provided in the mobilization regulations, 9 the battalions carried out 

7 (i) Ltr, TAG to CGs Third Army and IV Corps Area, 13 Dec 41, sub: Organization of 3d 
Separate Chemical Battalion and Inactivation of Company C, 2d Chemical Regiment. AG 320.2 
(12-2-41) MR-M-C (2) Ltr, TAG to CG III Corps Area, 5 Jan 42, sub: Transfer of 2d 
Separate Chemical Battalion. AG 370.5-2d Cml Bn. (3) Ltr, TAG to CG I Corps Area et al., 3 
Mar 42, sub: Constitution and Activation of Units for Ground Forces. AG 320.2 (1-28-42) 
MR-M— C. (4) The chemical mortar battalions were variously known during World War II as 
"separate chemical battalions," "chemical battalions (separate)," "chemical battalions (mo- 
torized)," and "chemical mortar battalions/' 

8 Intervs, CmlHO with the following former officers of the 2d and 3d Battalions: Col Robert 
W. Breaks, 14 November 1955; Lt Col Floyd B. Mitman, 8 December 1955; and Lt Col Harrison 
S. Markham, 8 December 1955. 

9 WD MR 3-1, 23 Nov 40. 



basic and unit training concurrently. The health and endurance of the in- 
dividual soldier were emphasized; he was taught to use his weapons and 
to care for himself in the field. Stress was placed on duty, honorable conduct, 
and uncomplaining obedience. These remained the essentials of mobilization 
training during the war. 

The tactical training of the early battalions was handicapped by a short- 
age of mortars and ammunition, a deficiency that was not overcome until 
1943. Although the principal mission of the battalions was the firing of 
toxics and smoke, the 2d also fired some five hundred rounds of high ex- 
plosives before going overseas. 10 Another handicap in the initial period of 
training was the lack of a specific training program for chemical battalions. 
This situation was rectified somewhat in May 1942 with the publication of a 
program for the mobilization training of the battalions, but it was not until 
January 1944 that the War Department published a Unit Training Program 
for chemical battalions. 11 

In July 1942 both the 2d and 3d Battalions, having been trained up to 
company level, were directed to participate in Army maneuvers. The 2d was 
ordered to the Carolina maneuver area and the 3d, which had been trans- 
ferred from Fort Benning to Fort Bliss, Tex., in April, was ordered to the 
Louisiana maneuver area. From November 1942 to March 1943, companies 
of the 2d and 3d Battalions were rotated for amphibious training at Camp 
Gordon Johnston, Florida, under the Chemical Warfare Amphibious Project, 
the object of which was the training of the companies in the use of smoke 
in landing operations, a technique which these units never used in com- 
bat. 12 Before being sent overseas the 2d Battalion was attached to the 45th 
Infantry Division for training at Camp Pickett, Va. 13 This was one of the 

10 Interv, CmlHO with Col George R. Oglesby, 20 Mar 56. Colonel Oglesby was acting 
Ground Chemical Officer in March and April 1943 when he was authorized supply of the 500 
rounds. After April 1943 allowances were more liberal. 

"(1) MTP 3-1, 19 May 42. (2) MTP 3-7, 15 Jan 44. 

"(1) Marshall O. Becker, The Amphibious Training Center, Hist Sec, AGF, 1946, pp. 67-69. 
(2) Interv CmlHO with Col Lloyd E. Fellenz, 6 Dec 55. Colonel Fellenz was in charge of the 
CW Amphibious Project at Camp Gordon Johnston. (3) Ltr, Lt Col Alfred C. Day, Commanding 
CW Amphibious Project, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Amphibious Project, NOB, Norfolk, Va., to C CWS, 
31 Jan 43, sub: Progress Report, Studies of Smoke Screens. CWS 319.1. (4) Ltr, Col Alfred C. 
Day to CWS, 30 Apr 43, sub: Progress Report, Studies of Smoke Screens. CWS 319. 1. (5) 
Although there were no amphibious chemical mortar operations in the MTO or ETO, a 1944 
amphibious training program in the Pacific led to the successful employment of che mical mortars 
in assault landings. See Paul W. Pritchard, Brooks E. Kleber, and Dale Birdsell, iChemicals in | 
Combat, a volume in preparation for the series UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR 
II (hereafter cited as Pritchard, Kleber, and Birdsell, Chemicals in Combat). 

18 Journal of 2d Cml Bn (Mtz) in World War II. The Chemical Corps Historical Office has a 
file on each battalion containing varying amounts of information. 



very few instances in World War 
II where a chemical mortar bat- 
talion actually went through a pe- 
riod of training in the zone of in- 
terior with a division. 

Cadres from the 2d and 3d Bat- 
talions, together with some 800 men 
from the RTC at Edgewood who 
had been given special mortar train- 
ing over a period of four to six 
weeks, were detailed as cadres for 
the 8 1 st, 83d, and 84th Battalions 
when they were activated in the 
spring of 1942. The 81st and 82d 
were both activated on 25 April 
1942 at Forts D. A. Russell and 
Bliss, Tex., respectively. The 83d 
was activated 19 June 1942 at Camp 
Gordon, Ga., and the 84th on 5 June 
at Camp Rucker, Ala. These bat- 
talions, like the 2d and 3d before 
them, were handicapped by a short- 
age of mortars, ammunition, training literature, and training aids. 14 Until 
mortars were received at the beginning of 1943 emphasis was placed on phys- 
ical conditioning of the men, identification of chemical agents, and small 
arms training. In March 1943 the 82d was ordered to the Louisiana maneu- 
ver area, and in the following month the 81st was directed to participate in 
the same maneuvers. This was the last occasion during the war when chem- 
ical mortar battalions took part in Army maneuvers, so important for the 
training of combat units. 

Despite the handicaps which the 8ist, 82d, 83d, and 84th Battalions 

Army Maneuvers, Louisiana, 1942. 
Infantryman advancing under cover of 
smoke screen. 

14 (i) Memo, Maj Howard P. McCormick, Planning and Equipment Br for C Planning and 
Equipment Br, OC CWS, 22 Oct 42, sub: Unit Supply and Materiel Inspection of the 81st and 
82 d Chemical Battalions. CWS 314.7 Training File. (2) Ltr, Asst IG Third Army to CG Third 
Army, 31 Oct 42, sub: Lack of Weapons as noted in the Annual General Inspection of the 81st 
Chemical Battalion. Ret Third Army File 33.1. (3) Intervs CmlHO with the following former 
officers of the battalions: Lt Cols James A. Richardson, Harrison S. Markham, and George Young, 
and Maj Charles Brightwell. All interviews, 8 Dec 55. 



faced, their training seems to have been quite satisfactory so far as it went. 
Raw recruits were trained to be good soldiers through long and tedious 
hours of work and instruction. Ambitious enlisted men were offered oppor- 
tunities for promotion or for attendance at OCS. The men in the ranks, if 
the words of one of them can be taken at face value, were motivated by a 
genuine pride in their accomplishment. "Here we are today," wrote a 
corporal of the 82d Battalion in his seventh month at Fort Bliss, "products 
of the military training, better Americans and more interested citizens. We 
have made new friends and acquaintances. We have learned the ways of the 
outdoors and of nature, of living together and sharing with our fellow 
soldier. We have learned to listen and obey and follow for a common cause 
and for the good and welfare of all." 15 

The Army inspectors were likewise impressed with the results of the 
training, sometimes to an extraordinary degree. To quote from the critique 
of a Second Army inspector of the 84th Separate Chemical Battalion, "I was 
amazed to see the same men who were at the train three months ago, raw 
recruits, now men who put on such a good showing. I find the 84th Chemical 
Battalion gave a very enviable account of themselves." 16 

While the principal mission of the mortar battalions was the dispersion 
of toxic agents and smoke, the CWS was of the opinion that the battalions 
could be profitably used to fire high explosives in support of the infantry. 
Before any such assignment was possible two preliminary steps were neces- 
sary. First, the War Department would have to approve a military require- 
ment for a high explosive (HE) shell for the 4.2-inch mortar, and secondly, 
the Army Ground Forces would have to be convinced that the 4.2-inch 
mortar could be used to advantage in supplementing the 105-mm. howitzer 
in close support of the Infantry. 

The CWS had little difficulty in securing approval for establishing a 
military requirement for the 4.2-inch high explosive shell; on 10 April 1942 
the Chief, CWS, submitted a request to the commanding general, ASF, 
which was approved on 26 April 1942. 17 Convincing the Army Ground 
Forces of the potentialities of the mortar for firing HE was a much more 

15 Cpl Samuel Gluck, "Recapitulation," The Retort, i Jan 43, a publication of the 82d 
Chemical Bn, Fort Bliss, Tex. 

18 Remarks of Col March Houser quoted by Lt Col H. S. Markham, CO, 84th Chem Bn, in 
Toxic Times, 31 Jan 43, publication of the 84th Chemical Bn. 

11 Ltr, C CWS to CG SOS, 10 Apr 42, sub: High Explosive Shell for the 4.2-inch Chemical 
Mortar, and 3d Ind., 26 Apr 42. By a 2d Indorsement AGF gave approval to the CWS recom- 
mendation. CWS 320.2/1-23. 



prolonged task. In order to accomplish the latter objective, the CWS had to 
wage a campaign of persuasion on two fronts; in the North African Theater 
of Operations and in Washington. 

Within a month after U.S. troops had landed in North Africa on 8 
November 1942, the chemical officer of the Western Task Force, Col. 
Maurice E. Barker, called the attention of his commander, Maj. Gen. George 
S. Patton, to the advantages that might be gained by employing 4.2-inch 
mortars for firing HE. The less mountainous portions of the North African 
country side were mostly open except for stone farm houses and country 
villas, which amounted to small natural forts against which it would be 
highly profitable to employ the 4.2-inch mortar. In the mountainous regions 
the mortar could be used to put its shells into gullies and behind steep hills 
where artillery fire could not reach. In December 1942 General Patton re- 
quested that the War Department make available a brigade of chemical 
troops armed with the latest weapons for firing HE and white phosphorus 
(WP). 18 

At the same time, the Chief, CWS, was attempting to impress upon the 
War Department the benefits of utilizing a chemical mortar battalion for 
firing HE. General Porter had a two-fold objective in mind: first, to 
guarantee that a sufficient number of battalions would be sent to the theaters 
to operate in a situation of gas warfare, and secondly, to insure that those 
battalions would be used as effectively as possible should gas warfare not 
materialize. Reports coming into the Chief's Office in early 1943 to the effect 
that the British were using their 4.2-inch mortars to fire HE served to 
stimulate and challenge the CWS. As the Chief of the Field Requirements 
Branch, OC CWS, remarked, "The British are far ahead. Their CWS is in 
their Army/' 19 

In February 1943 the Chief, CWS, arranged for a conference among 
representatives of the Army Service Forces, the Army Ground Forces, and 
the Chemical Warfare Service, to discuss the feasibility of having a War 
Department directive issued authorizing chemical troops to fire high ex- 
plosives. Suggestions emanating from this meeting led to War Department 
action on 26 April 1943 authorizing the firing of high explosives by chemical 
troops. 20 

18 Operational History of Chemical Battalions and the 4.2-inch Mortar in World War II, Pt. I, 
pp. 23-24 (hereafter cited as Operational History of Chem Bn). This is a 154-page monograph 
prepared by Historical Branch, OC CWS, in World War II. 

"Ibid., p. 29. 

M FM 100-5, C 3, 26 Apr 43. 



The official change in mission to include the firing of high explosive 
shells had a marked effect on the training of mortar battalions. From the 
spring of 1943 on, training was concentrated more on that aspect of the 
mission than on the dispersion of toxics and smoke. From May 1943 till 
1945, twenty-two additional chemical battalions were activated by the AGF 
and trained in various camps throughout the United States. 21 Of these 
twenty-two, the first four, the 85th, 86th, 87th, and 88th, all activated in 
May and June 1943, drained the entire Regular establishment of available 
battalion commanders. Thereafter battalion commanders came primarily 
from the ranks of Reserve officers called to active duty. 

Although the chemical mortar battalions were activated by the Army 
Ground Forces and remained under AGF jurisdiction, the Chemical Warfare 
Service, as indicated above, retained a considerable interest in them. The 
CWS supplied most of their officers and cadres, procured their mortars and 
ammunition, and was responsible for the technical aspects of their training. 
The chemical mortar battalions were accepted in the theaters as stemming 
from the CWS, even though their early growth was nurtured by the AGF. 

The CWS, moreover, had a considerable role in the writing of the tables 
of organization and mobilization training programs for the mortar battalions. 
In carrying out these activities the Training Division, OC CWS, worked 
closely with the Office of the Ground Chemical Officer in Washington. The 
Ground Chemical Officer was a CWS officer, with the rank of colonel, 
assigned to the AGF headquarters where he had AGF staff responsibilities 
for all aspects of chemical warfare training. Since he normally had only two 
officers and several enlisted men to assist him, the writing of mobilization 
training programs and tables of organization largely devolved on the Office 
of the Chief, CWS. 22 Final approvel of these rested with the Commanding 
General, AGF. 

With the appearance of the mobilization training program for the unit 
training of chemical battalions in January 1944, the platoon, company, and 

21 Seven of these twenty-two battalions were activated in July 1945 and inactivated in September 
1945. For details on the four additional bat talions activated overseas during the war see Pritchard, 

Kleber, and Birdsell, Chemicals in Combat. 

22 Intervs CmlHO with the following: Col James E. McHugh, 17 Nov 55. (Colonel McHugh 
was on duty in Training Division, OC CWS, from April 1943 until after the close of the war.) 
Col Thomas J. Ford, 11 Jan 56. (Colonel Ford was Ground Chemical Officer from January 1942 
to February 1943). Col. George R. Oglesby, 20 Mar 56. (Colonel Oglesby served in the Office of 
the Ground Chemical Officer from June 1942 until June 1943.) M/Sgt Ludwig Pross, 29 Nov 55, 
(Sergeant Pross was on duty in the Office of the Ground Chemical Officer from 1 May 1942 until 
after the close of the war.) 



battalion phases of training were spelled out much more precisely than 
heretofore. 23 During the platoon and company phases of training, which 
were to run for five and four weeks respectively, each unit was to be de- 
veloped into a fighting team capable of operating, with other units in 
various types of battle missions. In these phases, troops were to be psy- 
chologically prepared for the shock of battle by being subjected to overhead 
fire, fire past their flanks, tank attacks against entrenchments of their own 
construction, and realistic, simulated attacks from the air. During the bat- 
talion phase of training, which was scheduled for three weeks, each unit 
was to be taught to perform its tactical and technical functions in the 
battalion through movements, maneuvers, and exercises in simulated combat 
situations. All three training phases called for additional instruction in basic 
and general subjects, such as military intelligence, security, and physical and 
mental conditioning. 

The commanding officers of the battalions received the mobilization 
training programs and other official publications from the Army chemical 
officers, who had responsibility for supervising the technical aspects of the 
training of the battalions and who conducted occasional inspections. The 
Training Division, OC CWS, and the Ground Chemical Officer or his 
representative also inspected the units, as did the AGF inspector general. 
Actually there was not a great deal of outside supervision or inspection of 
any kind and the battalion commanders were largely on their own. For 
administrative and housekeeping purposes the commanding officers reported 
to the AGF staff officer at their camps who was responsible for the so-called 
Spare Parts units — those units not organically a part of a division. 

The mobilization training program, the official War Department direc- 
tive for training the battalions, guided the battalion commanders in the 
compilation of their individual training schedules. These schedules were not 
simple elaborations of the training programs, but included, in addition to the 
requirements of the War Department, certain aspects of training which the 
commanding officers felt should be stressed. In a way these schedules and 
the training carried out under them reflected the personalities of the individ- 
ual battalion commanders. If the commander was gifted with imagination, 
training would tend to be realistic and consideration would be given in such 
activities as firing the mortar and marches to actual tactical situations. The 
military background of the commanding officer also tended to influence 

53 MTP 3-7, 15 Jan 44. 



training. If, as sometimes happened, the commanding officer had an artillery 
background, the firing of the mortar would be approached from the artillery 
point of view. 

The experience gained by battalions which had been in combat was not 
overlooked in the training of the later battalions. The commanders over- 
seas would send back comments to the Offite of the Chief which would be 
passed on to the commanding officers of the battalions in the United States. 
One such letter in September 1943, which summarized the reactions of the 
commanding officers of the 2d, 3d, and 83d Battalions, had this to say about 

Experience has shown that the soldier well grounded in the fundamentals of 
scouting and patrolling, use of camouflage, cover and concealment, and taught to 
move fast, will individually live to fight many battles. Next to that comes team work, 
an item particularly important to our mortars. . . . Failures in mission will be the 
result of poor team work. Failures in battle are inexcusable when such failures are a 
result of poor training. 24 

The demand for company officers for chemical mortar battalions had the 
effect of pointing up the whole CWS officer procurement program. 25 More 
junior officers were needed for chemical service units than for chemical 
combat units; yet the ideal toward which the officer candidate aimed was the 
platoon leader of a chemical mortar company. If he could measure up to 
this job, he was assumed to be capable of filling any CWS assignment in 
the grade of second lieutenant. 

OCS students acquired some basic understanding of the employment of 
war gases in ground combat. This knowledge was augmented by the theory 
for the offensive employment of gas in courses which some of them later 
attended at the Chemical Warfare School. But training of officers in the 
conduct of HE fire could not be undertaken until the high explosive shell 
was authorized for chemical battalions, so that this type of instruction was 
not begun at the Chemical Warfare School until the fall of 1942. The 
training of CWS officers for duty with chemical battalions was, on the whole, 
never as well integrated as, for example, the preactivation training of artillery 
officers scheduled for assignment to field artillery battalions. 

This same lack of integration is evident in connection with the unit 

**Ltr, Lt Col Kenneth A. Cunin, CO, 83d Cml Bn to Brig Gen Alden H. Waitt, 12 Sep 43- 
26 The influence of this demand on the organization and operation of the Officer Candidate 
School is discussed below in Chapter XV. 



training of chemical battalions. The AGF did not have available firing areas 
where toxic agents could be released, and arrangements were never worked 
out for the battalions to fire gas munitions at CWS proving grounds; the 
training of these units in gas warfare was therefore theoretical at best. At 
the same time their training in close support of the infantry with HE was 
never altogether satisfactory because their mobilization training was entirely 
unrelated to that of the organizations they eventually supported in battle. 
When the activation of the initial series of six chemical battalions was begun 
in 1942, a third of the Army's wartime divisions already were mobilized; 
and the division mobilization program was virtually completed by the time 
activation of chemical battalions was resumed in 1943. 26 Most of the bat- 
talions thus missed out on the splendid teamwork development of non- 
divisional units which climaxed AGF training in the United States. In many, 
if not a majority of cases, the battalions first encountered the units they were 
to support only after their arrival in the theaters of operation, so that lessons 
that should have been learned in maneuvers had to be mastered in combat. 

Smoke Units 

From an operational standpoint, the smoke generator companies were 
somewhere between combat and service units. When attached to combat 
echelons in screening military operations from either air or ground attack, 
they were regarded as combat elements. When they were utilized in the 
static defense of fixed installations they generally came under communica- 
tion zone control and were classed as ASF troops. In either case their em- 
ployment was directly against enemy action, in contrast to the noncombatant 
work of such purely service units as depot and processing companies. Since 
the operation of smoke generators was somewhat technical and, at least 
initially, experimental in nature, the development and training of smoke 
units was handled by the CWS. Thus administratively, if not operationally, 
they were classed as CWS service troops. 

The earliest smoke generator companies were hastily organized in 1942 
specifically for screening the Bremerton (Wash.) Navy Yard, west coast 
aircraft plants, and the Sault Ste. Marie locks in Michigan against air attack. 
Formal unit training of these organizations had to be curtailed because of 
the immediate need for their services in the protection of these sensitive zone 

M See Palmer, Wiley and Keast, Procurement and Training of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 
489-492, for dates of the activation of U.S. Army divisions. 



of interior installations. These companies each manned long lines of 
stationary oil generators, an adaptation of the California orange grove 
smudge pot. On-the-job training in the operation of these early smoke 
devices was undertaken as a special CWS project in conjunction with chem- 
ical staff personnel of the defense commands involved. In the spring and 
summer of 1942, the Chief's Office sent Lt. Col. James N. Hinyard to the 
west coast and to Sault Ste. Marie to demonstrate the use of Mi mechanical 
smoke generators recently procured by the Chemical Warfare Service. 27 

It was not until the development of the mechanical smoke generator, Mi, 
that the organization of mobile smoke generator units became feasible. Com- 
panies activated independently after the mechanical generator was included 
in a revised T/O&E (as contrasted with those new companies formed 
amoeba-like from existing units undergoing reorganization) received all or 
part of their training at the CWS Unit Training Center. In all, forty smoke 
generator companies were activated during World War II. 28 

Experimental Company, Jungle Warfare 

In September 1943 the Chief, CWS, directed that a special company be 
organized at Camp Sibert to conduct experiments on methods of reducing 
Japanese-type pill boxes. This company, consisting of 17 officers and 277 
enlisted men, was under rigid training from October 1943 until January 
1944. It made use of a number of weapons in its experiments, including 
the 4.2-inch mortar, portable flame throwers, Thompson submachine guns, 
carbines, pistols, grenades, and Browning automatic rifles. Early in 1944 
the company was deactivated by order of the War Department and its 
personnel used to furnish cadres to chemical mortar battalions about to be 
activated. 29 

Ground Service Units 

Chemical ground service units were those intended to perform technical 
or service functions of noncombatant nature with the field forces, under 
either theater, army, or communications zone control. They included chem- 

" Interv, CmlHO with Lt Col James N. Hinyard, 20 Jun 55. 

18 For e mployment of smoke un its in the zone of interior and overseas see Pritchard, Kleber, 
and Birdsell J Chemicals in Combat.l 

^Ltr, CG Camp Sibert to C CWS, 22 Jan 44, sub: Final Report on the Operations of the 
Experimental Company, Jungle Warfare. ASF SPTR 370.2 (22 Jan 44). 



Flame Thrower Demonstration, Camp Sibert, Alabama, 1944. 

ical laboratory, maintenance, depot, decontamination, processing, and com- 
posite companies. 30 With the single exception of the 412th Chemical Depot 
Company they were altogether new organizations with no background of 
technical experience or military tradition. A considerable number of service 
type units were Negro units. 31 

Unit training of these organizations was in the main handled by the 
Chemical Warfare Service. This training was facilitated by the fact that 
activation of the principal block of units, begun in March 1942, was spread 
evenly over the next twelve months, during which period eighty-nine service 
companies were mobilized. 

The timing of the mobilization of these chemical service companies 
viewed against the full background of the war was excellent. Their primary 
mission was to limit the effectiveness of hostile gas attack; such secondary 
functions as they undertook were quite incidental to this principal purpose. 
By the time the War Department General Staff activated them, it had be- 

30 Eleven chemical battalion staffs were organized during the war, seven for smoke generator 
and four for chemical service battalions. These organizations were not involved in chemical unit 
tr aining, which was essentially company training. 

31 App. H lists Negro and white units. 



come clear that if gas were used against the Allies it would be in the final 
phases of the war. Earlier the employment of toxic chemicals in curtain 
raising air attacks had been regarded seriously by CWS tacticians, but the 
Japanese at Pearl Harbor proved beyond doubt that other munitions were 
more than adequate for such operations. This in fact no more than confirmed 
experience in the initial stages of the war in Europe. At the same time re- 
ported enemy activities in the field of gas warfare strongly suggested that 
the gas weapon might eventually be brought into play. And from the 
strategical viewpoint it was fairly obvious that this development would come 
only after the Axis powers were thrown on the defensive. In short, the 
strong likelihood was that the employment of gas would not take place until 
more than a year after the activation of gas defense units was begun, an 
interval that would allow ample time for their training and disposition. 

Since training of the bulk of these service units was not seriously under- 
taken until the fall of 1942, this activity came under the supervisory control 
of Army Service Forces. The ASF in time delegated the responsibility to the 
service commands, except for exempted installations where immediate con- 
trol of training was exercised by branch chiefs. 32 This meant that unit train- 
ing conducted at Camp Sibert was theoretically under the jurisdiction of the 
commanding general, Fourth Service Command, while that conducted at 
Edgewood Arsenal was directly controlled by the Chief, CWS. In practice 
the Training Division, OC CWS, retained substantial control of this training 
at both stations. 

Air Service Units 

The prewar scheme for organization of chemical units with the Army Air 
Corps was geared to a defensive rather than to a positive and global strategy. 
Under the 1939 plan, the principal air chemical service units were assigned 
to airdromes. Under the 1942 plan, they were assigned to bomber formations. 

The air expansion program of 1940 necessitated a substantial increase 
in the Air Corps complement of chemical troops. This in turn made possible 
the gradual development of the organizational pattern demanded in World 
War II. Initially one chemical company was set up in each air district. 33 This 

32 ASF policies regarding unit training which applied throughout the war were announced in 
ltr, Dir of Tng SOS to Chiefs of Supply Service, et al. } 28 Jul 42, sub: Unit Training Within the 
Services of Supply. SOS SPTRU 353 (7-28-42). 

33 The four air districts corresponded to but did not coincide with the four defense commands 
within the continental United States. 



company had platoons located at various bases throughout the district. 
Under this setup the * 'company' * was merely the holding corporation for a 
large group of service platoons. These were designated as airdromes, service 
center, and supply base platoons, 134 of them being activated in the zone of 
interior. With the unit training of these platoons the CWS served only in a 
monitoring capacity. Enlisted men were supplied principally from the Edge- 
wood Arsenal Replacement Training Center, while local training of the 
platoons was accomplished under the supervision of chemical staff personnel 
assigned to the several air districts. These early air chemical platoons, 
although later reorganized, were largely represented in the tactical service 
units which eventually operated with the AAF during the war. 

Three principal types of air chemical service organizations were deter- 
mined upon in 1942 as necessary to support chemical operations of the Army 
Air Forces. These were chemical companies, air operations; depot companies, 
aviation; and maintenance companies, aviation. The air operations company 
was the principal air chemical service unit. Its function was to handle, under 
operational and combat conditions, liquid toxic or smoke agents used by the 
type of bombardment aviation which it served. 34 The company included 4 
officers and 130 enlisted men, 35 It consisted of a distributing point section 
and four operating platoons, the latter capable of operating independently 
on the basis of one platoon per squadron. The companies were distinctively 
designated to indicate the type of air unit that served: (M & H) for medium 
or heavy bombardment, (L) for light bombardment, and (D) for dive 
bombardment. The air operations company was not trained to handle 
arsenal-filled gas bombs or incendiaries. 36 

The majority of the air operations companies activated in 1942 were 
organized from air chemical platoons activated and trained earlier. Twenty- 
eight of the companies were given unit training by the CWS. Of these 6 
were eventually sent overseas, 19 remained at Camp Sibert for periods of 
from 6 to 8 months, and 14 were disbanded in December 1943. Many of 
their officers and men were sent overseas as casual replacements. 

The aviation maintenance company had the job of higher echelon main- 
tenance, repair, and salvage of all chemical warfare equipment used by the 
Army Air Forces. The aviation depot company handled and stored all bulk 
chemical ammunition and spray tanks as well as incendiary munitions. Five 

34 AAF Tng Standard 40-4—1, 20 Jan 43, sub: CWS Tactical Service Units. 

35 T/O 3-457, 1 Jul 42- 

39 Actually the air operations companies were often employed in the theaters to handle all types 
of chemical bombs. 



aviation depot and three aviation maintenance companies were trained by 
the CWS. 

Unit Training at Camp Sibert 

Chemical Warfare units were well represented in each component of 
the Army, yet less than half of these organizations received their unit train- 
ing directly under CWS auspices. The chemical mortar battalions, as in- 
dicated, were all trained by the AGF. Two-thirds of the 1 942-1 943 AAF 
units were made up from chemical platoons that had been unit-trained at 
air installations. CWS unit training was thus narrowed to those technical 
service organizations which were trained at Edgewood Arsenal and Camp 
Sibert. {Table 11) 

Table 11 — Wartime Training of CWS Service Units 




Type of unit 


at Camp 



Edgewood * 













Air operations . 




Depot, aviation 





Maintenance, aviation 


















Processing- - _ 





Composite-service _ 





Laboratory _ 





■ Seven smoke generator, 1 depot, 11 processing, and 1 composite-service companies were trained at Camp Sibert and 
Edgewood and are included in both columns. 
| Source: App. H7| 

Although replacement training began at Camp Sibert in July 1942, it 
was not until August that the CWS formally recommended establishment of 
its Unit Training Center at that station. By the time the center was officially 
activated on 5 October 1942, the program for mobilization of chemical serv- 
ice units already was well under way; many of the ground service companies 
and the majority of the air service companies had been mobilized. Many of 
the organizations mobilized before October 1942 could not be sent to the 
new UTC to complete their training, but after 1942 chemical service units 



activated in the zone of interior normally trained at Camp Sibert. By 
January 1943, UTC trainees numbered 9,067 as against 5,300 men receiving 
replacement training. The rapid growth of unit training is indicated in the 
following figures: 

Number of 

Month Units 

October 1942 . 4 

November 1942 13 

December 1942 38 

January 1943 54 

February 1943 68 

Internal organization of the UTC differed from that of the RTC in that 
the replacement training unit was an artificial structure provided merely to 
facilitate the training of individuals, while the UTC training unit was a 
tactical organization as prescribed by an official T/O. The training cadre of 
the RTC unit remained at the center to train succeeding groups of replace- 
ments; but the cadre of the UTC organization was "organic"; it was the 
heart of the unit. 

Although unit training was essentially self-training, that is, training of 
the company by the company, the instruction of the unit by its officers and 
noncommissioned officers was furthered in many ways by facilities available 
at the center. It was possible for an organization to work out its own salva- 
tion in the matter of unit training; in fact most of the chemical units 
mobilized before the UTC was activated were obliged to do so. This was a 
painful process even when, as at Edgewood Arsenal, it was accomplished in 
a climate of experience and under the shadow of veteran organizations. For 
a rapid, production-line operation of unit building such as that which con- 
fronted the CWS in 1943 there was no substitute for the training center, 
even though the true role of the center was merely to assist the unit in its 
effort to train itself. 

In devising the organization of a Unit Training Center there were at the 
start no more than three tangibles from which to work. The approximate 
number of new units to begin training at stated intervals was known. The 
mission of each type of organization was understood. And a governing 
mobilization training program was available. The aggregate number of units 
to be trained dictated the battalion-regimental echelonment which provided 
eventually for four regimental groups. It was therefore necessary to develop 
a type of training center organization which would permit the commanding 



general to exercise leadership through this command structure so as to insure 
rapid development of the units in accordance with the standardized training 

After an experimental period of growth and development, the organiza- 
tional pattern of UTC headquarters became fairly well stabilized in March 
1943. Three principal offices were included: one to handle military ad- 
ministration; one for all supply matters; and one for operations and training. 
The latter was the largest and most important office of the center command. 
Its organization was reflected in a corresponding staff section at each regi- 
mental headquarters. 

The technical training section of the operations and training office super- 
vised each company in the technical phase of mobilization training. It set 
the technical standards, and it was largely instrumental in seeing that these 
standards were met. 

The composition of the section was an index to the technical specializa- 
tion involved in chemical warfare operations. The availability at UTC head- 
quarters of groups specializing as experts in each of the fields for which 
chemical service units were being trained provided a partial solution to the 
recurrent problem of general versus specialized training of the individual. 

A high degree of technical specialization was never a target in the war- 
time schooling of company grade officers. A captain or lieutenant when as- 
signed, for example, to a smoke generator company ordinarily knew very 
little about the technique of smoke production. However, before technical 
training under the mobilization training program was started, the company 
officers were required to attend a special course on the operation, mainte- 
nance, and tactical employment of smoke generators, conducted by the smoke 
generator group of the technical training section. 

This evening instruction, given while basic unit training was in progress, 
continued until the officers were judged competent to undertake the technical 
training of the company. Once this was begun the technical group main- 
tained close contact with the unit, observing its progress in field operations 
and evaluating its training accomplishments. By the time the company had 
completed its technical training, its officers were themselves specialists in this 

This general procedure was followed with each type of unit activated 
at the Unit Training Center. The principal effort in both replacement and 
unit training as already mentioned, was toward the development of general 
military effectiveness rather than the creation of a broad base of technical 
proficiency. It was the important function of the technical training section 



to insure that the technical training phase of mobilization training was ade- 
quately handled. In addition to the primary mission of aiding in the technical 
training of units, each group of specialists was employed in developing 
specialized training programs and in preparing technical manuals and direc- 

The functions of the supervisory section of the operations and training 
office complemented the training supervision conducted by the regiments 
and battalions. Supervision from training center headquarters emphasized 
especially the technique of training, while supervision from regimental and 
battalion headquarters gave more attention to the orderly expediting of 
training programs. 

The supervisory section included specialists in training methods who 
were required repeatedly to visit units in training, to evaluate training pro- 
cedures with relation to Army standards set by FM 21-5, and to report their 
findings by standardized form to the several interested agencies. These re- 
ports were designed to help the unit, and they proved most useful in main- 
taining satisfactory training standards. The supervisory section was also 
responsible for conducting classes of instruction in teaching methods which 
all UTC instructors were required to attend. 

The schedules section undertook at the beginning of UTC operations to 
write the weekly training schedules to be followed by each organization in 
accordance with the general provisions of the mobilization training program. 
This soon proved to be impracticable; it was in fact undesirable, since it 
infringed upon the training responsibility of the unit. Although schedule 
writing was soon delegated to the companies, there remained several im- 
portant functions to be performed by the schedules section of UTC head- 
quarters. The weekly schedules had to be co-ordinated to avoid conflict in 
the use of firing ranges, training areas, and other facilities. For this reason 
it was necessary to have copies of all training schedules transmitted to the 
schedules section well before their effective dates. This section thus became 
a steering organization for all training operations at the center. At the same 
time the data it accumulated provided the basis for procurement of munitions 
and other materiel required in training operations. The schedules section 
prepared lesson plans which outlined the instructional approach to be fol- 
lowed in each training period and initiated recommendations for changes in 
current mobilization training programs. 

The schools section was another busy office of UTC headquarters. It was 
charged with the conduct of the specialist school which trained administra- 
tive specialists and chemical technicians. The section also made arrangements 



for the attendance of selected trainees as students at specialized courses 
conducted by other Army or civilian schools. In short, all training of unit 
personnel undertaken away from the unit was channelized through the 
schools section. 

Activities of the remaining sections of the operations and training office 
were indicated by their titles. The training aids section procured or built the 
training aids needed by the entire command, stored them, and made them 
available when and where needed by the companies. The weapons and 
marksmanship section established standard operating procedure for the firing 
ranges belonging to the Unit Training Center, supervised their use, and 
initiated arrangements for the employment of outside ranges when needed. 
The statistics section centralized in one office the preparation of numerous 
reports required by higher authority on the progress of unit training. These 
statistics, necessary in connection with the general personnel administration 
of the Army, also proved to be of considerable value to the center command. 
Two additional sections appeared somewhat later to meet special require- 
ments. The POM section (preparation for overseas movement) eventually 
checked all details incident to the complicated administrative procedure in- 
volved in the preparation of units for overseas movement. The camouflage 
school section operated a special training course for instruction in the tech- 
niques of camouflage as they applied to the protection of chemical warfare 
field establishments. 

Although the activities of the operations and training office of necessity 
were definitely compartmentalized, it did not prevent close co-operation 
between the sections. The preparation of lesson plans by the schedules 
section and the examination of teaching methods by the supervisory section 
covered much common ground. While units were firing on ranges, super- 
vision of their instruction was largely taken over by the weapons and marks- 
manship section. The technical training section worked closely with the 
schools section in the operation of the specialist schools. 

Organization of Units 

Organization of the several companies into provisional training battalions 
and regiments was dictated by the number of units present for training. By 
February 1943 the formation of ten battalions of white and three battalions 
of Negro troops was necessary. The First and Second Regiments each in- 
cluded three battalions, and the Third Regiment four battalions of white 
troops. The Fourth Regiment comprised three battalions of Negro troops. 



This basic organization continued until Camp Sibert was converted into an 
ASF training center in April 1944. (Table 12) 

Table 12 — Provisional Organization, CWS UTC, February 1943 




5 (processing) 


5 (processing) 


5 (processing) 

1 (laboratory) 


3 (smoke generator) 

2 (processing) 


1 (decontamination) 

1 (maintenance) 

3 (composite) 


3 (composite) 


1 (maintenance) 

4 (depot) 


7 (air operations) 


1 (maintenance) 

5 (processing) 


3 (processing) 


10 (smoke generator) 


1 (decontamination) 

1 (processing) 

4 (smoke generator) 


1 (maintenance) (aviation) 

1 (depot) (aviation) 





4th _ 

Source: CWS UTC, SO 42, II Feb 43. 

The battalions and regiments were provisional organizations responsible 
for the military control of the companies and for certain features of their 
training operations. The number and type of companies assigned to battalions 
were determined by administrative convenience. Five or six companies usually 
constituted one battalion. One type of company predominated in each 

Four command levels were active within the Unit Training Center: UTC 
headquarters, the regiment, the battalion, and the company. Although each 
had definitely prescribed responsibilities in the scheme of unit training, the 
first three existed solely for the purpose of furthering the efforts of the 
company in preparing itself for field operations. 



To the regiment, the center command delegated primary responsibility 
for the training management of the companies. Some of these duties were 
performed by the regiment. Others were carried out for the regiment by 
the battalion, since it was impracticable for the regiment itself to provide 
the intimate leadership needed in directing the operation of fifteen to twenty 
companies in various stages of mobilization training. For example, the con- 
duct of troop schools was a responsibility of the regiment. 37 In practice the 
regiment conducted troop schools for all officers under its command, while 
the battalion conducted troop schools for noncommissioned officers assigned 
to its companies. Development of proficiency in military administration 
within the units was a function of the regiment; supply administration was 
checked by the regimental staff, while maintenance of training records was 
scrutinized by battalion commanders. The regimental commander had five 
principal staff officers: an executive, an adjutant, a supply officer, a motor 
transport officer, and a training officer. 

The important functions of the battalion in unit training were to insure, 
by immediate personal contact with the training companies, that their train- 
ing needs were met and that their training progress was steady. The battalion 
commander observed and weighed the capabilities of the company organiza- 
tion and judged the military effectiveness of the company commander. The 
battalion staff included, besides the major commanding, a captain as execu- 
tive and one lieutenant as training officer. Aside from the conduct of NCO 
troop schools, the staff was essentially a supervisory-management agency; 
it directed the translation of training directives into training accomplish- 

The company was the pivot for all activities at the Unit Training Center. 
From the moment of activation, the company commander was charged with 
full exercise of the command of his organization, which included the con- 
duct of all instruction and drills. He usually had an authorized complement 
of lieutenants and an experienced cadre of enlisted personnel to assist him 
in company training, yet the responsibility was his. 

The company headquarters prepared the weekly training schedule which 
transformed the generalities of the mobilization training program into a 
specific timetable of training activity. The company maintained the training 
progress chart, and recorded deviations from scheduled training that had to 
be made either individually or by the unit. The company also initiated the 

87 Troop schools are not to be confused with specialists schools, which were conducted by UTC 
headquarters staff. 



bimonthly training status report which indicated the progress made by the 
unit toward completion of its mobilization training. These basic training 
records were indispensable to training management, and as such they were 
carefully scrutinized by higher echelons of the training command. 

Unit Training Facilities 

The movement of replacement trainees from their original "tent city" 
camp into newly completed barracks, which began late in 1942, opened the 
way for the accommodation of unit training at Camp Sibert Shortly this 
bivouac area, which had been developed by the Replacement Training 
Center, became available for the housing of units. But it could shelter no 
more than five thousand, and in immediate prospect was the unit training 
of a much larger body of troops. 

Putting the UTC in tents would have been a solution to its housing 
problems. But this was not feasible because the units in training were being 
filled almost entirely with raw reception center inductees who under existing 
War Department policy were entitled to solid shelter while undergoing basic 
training. The Chemical Warfare Service therefore proposed, and the War 
Department shortly approved, the construction of necessary wooden bar- 
racks to accommodate a maximum of ten thousand white and three thousand 
Negro troops, together with appropriate administrative and recreational 
structures. Until these buildings were erected, the original RTC area was 
occupied by the Unit Training Center. 

This situation lasted but a few weeks. The UTC construction was pushed 
to completion much more rapidly than expected, thanks to the ready avail- 
ability of labor and materials in the Gadsden area. Competent contractors 
were available to handle architectural and engineering details, building con- 
struction, roads, and utilities. Though construction was of the short-life 
type, the buildings long survived the purpose they were intended to serve. 
Weather was the principal impediment. Despite exceptionally heavy rainfall, 
the new UTC headquarters was ready for occupancy in December 1942, and 
most of the units moved to the new area during the following month. Eighty 
percent of the training center construction was completed by February 1943, 
the military following close on the heels of the civilian contractors, and 
occupying buildings as soon as they were inspected and found acceptable. 

The UTC housing scheme was developed on a pattern of regimental 
areas, with provision for six regiments. Within these areas, groups of five- 
company battalions were laid out. Seven or eight 34-man barracks were 



allocated to each company, the company group including also mess hall, 
orderly and day rooms, and lavatory. Counting chapels, libraries, instruc- 
tional and administrative buildings, in all 822 structures were authorized for 
UTC occupancy, well over half the total number at Camp Sibert. 38 

Despite the haste in which the Unit Training Center was laid out and 
built, it proved to be on the whole an efficient installation. Making the 
streets wider than originally planned and strict care in the preservation of 
standing trees, both favorite projects of the camp commander, were measures 
which added to the pleasant atmosphere of the station. Experience indicated 
some features of the UTC layout which needed improvement. The training 
areas were too far from the housing area, so that too much time was wasted 
in going back and forth. The arrangement of four organizational groups in 
each battalion area, a practice which was followed in the Replacement 
Training Center, permitted a more convenient arrangement of barracks, 
mess halls, and orderly and supply rooms, than was possible under the five- 
unit group adopted by the Unit Training Center. Particularly regretted was 
the lack of a swimming pool, a much needed recreational facility. 

In addition to barracks and administration buildings, the unit training 
program called for extensive new instructional facilities to provide for a 
training load well over twice that of the RTC. With the appearance of the 
new fields, some built by contract and some by training center personnel, 
Camp Sibert took on the atmosphere of an efficient instructional institution. 
Many of the basic ideas employed were derived from other training agencies. 
In this respect the CWS UTC had an advantage by appearing late in the 
training picture; it could profit from the mistakes of other centers, reject the 
unsuccessful and ineffective, and limit its training facilities to those of 
proven worth. A list of these facilities is therefore more than an indication 
of the scope of training conducted at the UTC — it is also a record of the 
instructional aids which experience proved was most valuable for that 

These facilities included four known-distance ranges and three antiair- 
craft ranges for the .30-caliber rifle, two 1,000-inch ranges for the .22-caliber 
rifle and the .30-caliber machine gun, a sub-machine gun range, and an anti- 
tank weapon range. There was an obstacle-infiltration course which featured 
machine guns firing live ammunition. More advanced facilities were a 
"jungle" course with unexpected and unusual targets, an assault range to 

M (i) CWS History of Tng, Pt. V, Training of Units, p. 42 and App. D therein. (2) Story 
of Camp Sibert, p. 25. 



teach street fighting, and a combat range for training in the tactics of small 
unit operations. 

A field fortification area and sanitation, rigging, and camouflage areas 
were developed in connection with basic military training. Two regimental 
obstacle courses and one "cross-country" course were designed and built by 
the Unit Training Center and were extensively used for physical training. 
A single large gas chamber was sufficient for the phase of instruction which 
covered defense against chemical attack. While the use of ranges and train- 
ing areas was controlled by UTC headquarters, it was generally the unit 
commander who led his organization through these training exercises. 

More unusual were those facilities developed for special use in the tech- 
nical phases of unit training. These included areas devoted to each of the 
specialties represented by the seven technical sections of the operations and 
training division of the center. Technical instruction was first undertaken in 
these areas, followed later by the application of principles in field operations. 

Preliminary training of processing companies took place in buildings 
which housed impregnating machinery in a semipermanent type of installa- 
tion; after learning the technique of treating clothing with gas-resistant 
chemicals, units continued their training with their own equipment under 
field conditions. The depot area contained a typical field depot installation 
which illustrated principles of perimeter defense and camouflage protection. 
The toxic filling area included storage facilities and equipment for handling 
all types of liquid chemicals. In the decontamination area, toxic vesicant 
agents were neutralized according to approved methods. The laboratory 
setup provided a standard Mi chemical field laboratory for analysis of chem- 
ical agents. Air operations classrooms and training areas contained full-scale 
models of bomb bays and wing sections of different aircraft so that chemical 
air operations companies could be trained in the installation of incendiary 
bombs and in the filling and installation of spray tanks. In the maintenance 
training shop were gathered all types of machinery used in the maintenance 
and repair of CWS material. Technical instruction of smoke generator units 
was begun in a special classroom provided with sectionalized models and 
other training aids relating to smoke production. 39 

Although on the whole the various physical adjuncts to training that 
were developed and employed at the Unit Training Center were adequate, 
the assembly of the necessary materiel and the actual construction of facilities 
while training was in progress presented many difficulties. The preparation 

!9 CWS History of Tng, Pt. V, Training of Units, pp. 156-60. 



Unit Training at Camp Sibert. Members of a processing company in field 
training remove clothing from predryer unit. This is the first stage in the 
processing of clothing for impregnation. Pipes at lower right carry gas- 
resistant solution to impregnator unit. 

of a table of basic allowances of training equipment for the center followed 
rather than preceded the procurement of the necessary materiel. The task 
of procuring what was needed was accomplished only as the result of a great 
deal of enterprise on the part of UTC personnel. The various training 
facilities were not substantially complete until after the peak of unit train- 
ing had passed. Their development was not in all cases foreseen or planned 
for in advance. Some, such as the sanitation area and the rigging area, were 
initiated by individual units and later adopted for general use. Others, like 
the jungle course, owed their existence to the perseverance of individual 
officers who originated an idea or, having seen it applied elsewhere, insisted 
that it be utilized at Camp Sibert. An effective diorama illustrating correct 
and incorrect examples of camouflage was devised by the commanding 
general of the UTC. 



Mobilization Training Programs 

The conduct of unit training, like the conduct of replacement training, 
hinged upon the mobilization training program. The programs for the 
guidance of unit training underwent constant revision during the war. These 
revisions were in part a reflection of developing experience gained in train- 
ing management. They were in part attempts to correct defects which 
showed up in operational experience. And they were in part the results of 
changes in departmental organization. Some revisions were based on recom- 
mendations made by the training center. Others were initiated by the 
Military Training Division, ASF, either directly or as a result of War 
Department General Staff action. 

The earlier chemical unit programs, in both their military and technical 
phases, were unilateral productions of the Chemical Warfare Service. After 
1943 the CWS prepared only the technical training features, the strictly 
military sections being written by the Army Service Forces. 40 Thus the later 
programs of each technical branch called for identical basic military training 
despite wide variations in the types of technical training. 

In all, ten mobilization training programs, formally published by the 
War Department, were in effect during the war for the direction of chemical 
unit training, in addition to a number of tentative or ad interim directives. 
These were known as the * 'dash-two" series of programs. 41 Their evolution 
may be divided into five stages: programs of eight, thirteen, twenty- six, 
seventeen, and six weeks. 

The original eight-week program was followed in the training of chem- 
ical service units activated at Edgewood Arsenal and elsewhere during the 
early stages of hostilities. 42 

The thirteen-week program, which was in effect when the CWS UTC 
was officially established in October 1942, provided a very necessary ex- 
tension of training time. It included programs to cover the highly specialized 
technical instruction of CWS ground and air service units and of smoke 
generator units. 43 

The twenty-six- week program, unlike the earlier programs which assumed 

"Actually ASF provided a uniform basic training policy in November 1942. 1st Ind, ltr, CG 
SOS to C CWS, 18 Nov 42, sub: Uses of Revised MTP 3-2. CWS SPCV 300.7. 

* l The "dash-three" and later the "dash-one" series, under the final scheme of nomenclature, 
covered replacement training. 

42 MTP 3-2, 19 Sep 40. 

43 MTP 3-2, 8 Jun 42. 



that units would be filled by replacement center graduates, recognized that 
recruit training of the individual soldier would have to be accomplished 
within the scope of unit training. The program provided for an initial 
thirteen-week period of individual training followed by an additional thir- 
teen weeks devoted to actual unit training. 44 

The seventeen-week individual training program 45 lengthened by four 
weeks the initial thirteen-week cycle of the twenty-six-week program. In so 
doing, it allowed more time for basic training of the individual soldier and, 
in addition, permitted some expansion of technical training. 

Originally the technical instruction of the several types of service com- 
panies had tended toward rigid specialization along functional lines, whereas 
the need for greater versatility on the part of these troops had become in- 
creasingly evident. The seventeen-week program recognized this fact and 
made provisions for three stages of technical training: two weeks of ele- 
mentary technical instruction applicable to all units; six weeks of specialized 
technical training in the functions of the particular unit; and, finally, three 
weeks of field or applied training. By this arrangement all organizations 
were able to acquire some basic knowledge of the functions of all chemical 
service units as well as competency in their own specialized functions. 

The six- week program was instituted in the summer of 1944, by which 
time the activation of new units had slowed to the point that required fillers 
could be provided from replacement center trainees. 46 It represented another 
major change in unit training policy. Given individual soldiers thoroughly 
schooled under the exacting replacement training program of 1943, it became 
feasible to curtail the period of strictly unit training. 

The numerous revisions of training programs made by the War Depart- 
ment considerably complicated the work of training management at Camp 
Sibert. Much of the time one group of units would be training under one 
program while subsequently activated units would be following a revised 
program. The lack of stabilized programing interfered with the systematic 
scheduling of unit training as well as with the orderly military administra- 
tion of the training center. Although there were often sound reasons for 
revising programs, the burden of the resulting changes in operating pro- 
cedures fell heavily on the training center. 

44 MTP 3-2, 15 Mar 43, outlined the individual training program and MTP 3—4, 21 May 43, 
prescribed the additional thirteen weeks. 

45 MTP 3-102, n.d. This MTP was in effect for CWS units activated after 23 September 1943. 

46 MTP 3-2, 1 Jul 44- 



The revisions were never as radical as mere phraseology of the published 
programs would suggest. Changes were introduced gradually and often 
were in effect for some time before issuance of the revised program. Under 
normal procedure a proposed change would be adopted upon tentative ap- 
proval, after which a mimeograph issue of a revised program was gotten out 
for limited distribution some months before the printed version appeared. 
As in the case of many such formal documents, publication of the official 
program merely sanctioned a practice already being followed. 

It was customary and in fact quite necessary to supplement the formal 
mobilization training programs with two types of instructional guides which 
became standardized as the subject schedule and the lesson plan. The subject 
schedule was a mimeographed sheet, listing the several periods to be devoted 
to a single subject under an appropriate program, the subject representing 
one "subcourse" of the whole training course. It announced the instructional 
objective to be aimed at in this series of periods, and it included general 
training notes and a brief description of each training period. The lesson 
plan supplemented the subject schedule by providing precise instructions for 
the conduct of each scheduled period. It set forth the specific instructional 
directive, the text references, training equipment needed, and the training 
technique to be followed. 

A number of manuals were prepared by the Unit Training Center to 
supplement instructional directives and official training literature. These 
normally were produced in mimeograph form and sometimes reached con- 
siderable proportions. For example, the CWS Soldiers Guide, compiled by 
the operations and training office of UTC headquarters and issued to each 
trainee as his own copy, was a 260-page pamphlet summarizing both military 
and technical instruction. 47 Elaborate company guides, comprising one 
hundred to two hundred mimeographed pages, were also issued to soldiers 
assigned to each type of chemical unit. The need for these unofficial publica- 
tions lessened as the coverage of official training literature became more 
nearly complete. 

The Conduct of Instruction 

The impressive manner in which units were activated at Camp Sibert 
provided the clue to much of the success of later training. The activation 
ceremony was staged formally as soon as 90 percent of the organization's 

" Issue of 10 Oct 43. 



fillers had reached the training center. The exercises were conducted by 
the commander of the regiment to which the new company was assigned, 
in a park reserved for that purpose. After an invocation by the chaplain, the 
activation order was read by the appropriate battalion commander. Then 
the colonel of the regiment called up each soldier and presented to him 
individually the rifle which symbolized his new status as a member of the 
armed forces. This was followed by a brief talk by the commanding general 
or, in his absence, by a senior officer designated by him. During the ceremony 
suitable music was played by the training center band. After the benediction, 
the new unit was marched away to the post theater where its indoctrination 
was begun. 

A principle impressed upon all new soldiers, even before formal training 
began, was that they were primarily fighting men — whether assigned to 
service or combat units. This was done in an effort to counteract the natural 
tendency of the skilled specialist to assume that his technical ability was 
more important to the Army than his combat effectiveness. An illustration 
frequently used in this indoctrination was that of the early American who, 
when he hoed his corn, had a musket conveniently within reach to repel 
attack by hostile Indians; had he not been a competent rifleman, his skill as a 
husbandman would have been of little value to him or anyone else. This 
theme, the instilling of a fighting spirit in both officers and enlisted men, 
was constantly stressed during the entire period of unit training. 

The essential tasks of the Unit Training Center were to see that instruc- 
tion was scheduled in agreement with official training programs and that it 
was conducted according to instructional procedures set by the War Depart- 
ment. The center was provided with blueprints to be followed; while these 
might be changed from time to time for good and sufficient reasons, they 
delineated the bounds of instruction. The management of training operations 
was in the hands of the center command and the way this function was 
discharged determined, finally, the effectiveness with which units prepared 
themselves for active field service. 

The officer complement of the CWS Unit Training Center was set at 
115; 101 of these were CWS officers and the rest were branch immaterial 
officers. 48 Assignments to administration and supply duties were limited to 
approximately 35 officers; the remaining 80 were employed primarily on 

48 (i) Ltr, AGO to CG, Fourth SC, 18 Nov 42, sub: T/O for CWS UTC. AG SPX 320.2 
(10-31—42) PO-M-SPGAO. (2) Branch immaterial officers were officers not assigned to a par- 
ticular arm or service. 



training work. Of these, 28 provided the headquarters training staff and 52 
were assigned to the provisional regiments and battalions. 

A formal inspection of the center in February 1943 disclosed a number 
of difficulties interfering with effective progress in unit training. 49 Besides 
inclement weather, some uncompleted barracks, and many unfinished ranges, 
it was evident that training was being undertaken in too many instances by 
inexperienced company officers and that the direction of this training was in 
the hands of training center personnel who too often were immature and 
uncertain of their duties. Although the full quota of 115 officers was then 
available at Camp Sibert, the great majority of these officers were second 
lieutenants, mostly recent OCS graduates. The original scheme and func- 
tional design of the center were good, but the shortage of experienced 
officers was seriously hindering efficient training operations. The dearth of 
properly qualified CWS officers in comparison to mounting demands in the 
training field showed up more strikingly then than at any other time during 
the war. While the assignment of inexperienced company grade officers to 
newly activated units was understandable, it was imperative that the center 
be provided with mature officers who were capable of assisting and directing 
the training work of the companies. This matter was given careful study by 
General Porter, who saw to it that a number of additional field grade 
officers were shortly assigned to the Unit Training Center. The influence of 
better supervisory control was quickly evident. A formal inspection of the 
center made in April 1943 showed marked improvement in the conduct of 
training and elicited personal commendation from the Director of Military 
Training, ASF. 50 

The rapid and effective handling of the volume of training undertaken 
at the CWS Unit Training Center in 1943 required, in addition to competent 
directors, a large number of younger officers who were skilled in training 
techniques. But the company officers had to know the subject they were to 
teach as well as how to teach. Officers with these special qualifications were 
extremely scarce. To a considerable degree they had to be developed at the 
training center; the device employed was the troop school. 

The troop school differed from the service school in that it was an extra 
duty project, classes normally being conducted in the evenings. It had the 
advantage of imparting instruction that applied to work immediately at 

"Memo, Coi H. M. Woodward, Jr., for Dir of Tng SOS, n.d., sub: Inspection of CWS UTC. 
SOS SPTRU 333-1 (CWS). The name indicates the inspection was made 17-19 February 1943. 

50 1st Ind, Memo, Tng Div ASF for C CWS, 24 Apr 43, sub: Inspection of CWS UTC. ASF 
SPTRU 333.1 (CWS). 



hand, in contrast to the service school whose instruction was necessarily 
more academic. Nevertheless, the troop school system, especially as it had to 
be employed at Camp Sibert, exacted a great deal from physically tired 
officers whose days were crowded with strenuous duties. 

The UTC troop schools were attended by both unit and headquarters 
staff officers. They taught what to teach and how to teach. They were con- 
ducted principally at the regimental level with classes scheduled five eve- 
nings per week. The subject of instructor training, including the use of train- 
ing aids, was studied by company officers insofar as possible before beginning 
mobilization training of the unit. A general refresher program covering the 
subjects of basic military training included in the unit training schedules 
was then begun, this instruction being pushed to completion in advance of 
the unit training to which it pertained. Specialized technical training of 
company officers, already discussed, was undertaken while basic military 
training of the unit was in progress. 

The practice of holding nightly cadre meetings began in August 1943. 
These were conducted by the unit commander and attended by company 
officers and noncommissioned officers. The meeting began with a critique of 
the day's training operations, followed by a discussion of plans and pro- 
cedures for the next day's work. While this arrangement was found to be 
a necessary and important feature of training management, it involved an 
excessive amount of overtime duty on the part of trainer personnel. 

The Unit Training Center made considerable use of other service schools 
for the supplementary instruction of officers and in some cases of enlisted 
personnel. Students were sent in increasing numbers to attend courses at 
AGF schools as well as the service schools of the several technical branches. 
Graduates of such courses were generally employed on staff training duties 
at the center. 

One phase of training marked by considerable difficulty in the early 
stages of unit training at Camp Sibert was getting a suitable proportion of 
trainees to qualify in rifle marksmanship. This matter was brought directly 
to the attention of the OC CWS by the Army Service Forces when an 
analysis of training status reports indicated that as of 1 April 1943 the 
percentage of soldiers qualifying as rifle marksmen ranged between a low 
of 16 and a high of only 44 percent. 51 

Weapons training was seriously hampered during 1942 and well into 
1943 by uncompleted range construction and by a critical shortage of rifles. 

61 Memo, ASF for C CWS, 19 Apr 43, sub: Rifle Marksmanship Qualification. ASF SPTRU 



Until 17 December 1942, when the first UTC rifle range was officially 
opened, the UTC had to utilize the range facilities of Fort McClellan, thirty 
miles away, for this instruction. Gradually the supply of rifles and ammuni- 
tion improved, although at one time there was no more than forty Mi rifles 
available for unit training purposes. 

Training in small arms fire as well as all basic military training was 
stimulated by the attachment of fifty infantry officers to the CWS Unit 
Training Center in March 1943. These young Ft. Benning OCS graduates 
soon proved themselves an invaluable addition to the Camp Sibert training 
staff. Initially attached for a period of six months, many of them remained 
for nine months, during which time UTC standards in rifle and allied 
military training steadily improved. By June 1943 the minimum standard 
of 80 percent qualification of all men firing the rifle was being consistently 

Specialist Training 

A principle of unit training recognized in the earliest mobilization train- 
ing programs was the division of trainees into two categories, basics and 
specialists, the latter to be detached during part of the unit training period 
for specialized instruction. All units, combat as well as service, placed con- 
siderable emphasis on the technical knowledge of the group of specialists 
upon whose capability the functioning of the organization as a whole so 
largely depended. This development was in fact a concomitant to the grow- 
ing complexity of modern warfare. Specialists requirements of the several 
arms and services were compiled by The Adjutant General from current 
tables of organization and were published from time to time as Require- 
ment and Replacement Rates, Military Specialists. Following is a summary 
of the distribution per thousand as it stood during 1943 : 52 

CWS Army 

Total 1,000 1,000 

Military jobs without civilian counterparts 293 464 

Jobs paralleling civilian occupations 409 387 

Laborers (SSN 590)._ 182 37 

Basic Soldiers (SSN 521) 116 112 

62 Palmer, Wiley, and Keast, Procurement and Training of Ground Combat Troops, Table i, 
p. 8. 



Specialist training was limited to the first two categories. The first category 
of jobs required training for duties which had no equivalents in American 
industry, and the second the adaptation training of men who entered the 
Army with occupational experience paralleling jobs listed in CWS tables 
of organization. The first of these requirements was the most exacting, 
although the number of such jobs in CWS was well below the average for 
the Army at large. The second requirement, which involved training for 
military assignment of cooks, clerks, truck drivers, laboratory technicians, 
and so forth, was slightly above the general Army experience. 

In the mobilization training of units it was essential that the initial 
requirements of the organization for enlisted specialists be fully satisfied, 
although once the unit had passed to operational status it could be expected 
to develop many of its own specialist replacements by on-the-job training. 
For this reason UTC training of specialists was much heavier in volume 
than was specialist training at the Replacement Training Center. The extent 

of CWS requirements for specialist training is indicated in Table 13. 

Two-thirds of the strength of most chemical service units included men 
requiring types of training that were beyond the resources of the newly 
organized company. In many cases the soldier brought with him enough 
civilian experience to qualify him occupationally under a given specification 
serial number, the only training required being in the adaption of his trade 
specialty to military duty. It was the partially qualified or the unqualified, 
yet likely, trainee who presented the most serious problems to the specialist 
schooling system. 

Specialist training was concentrated in the weeks devoted to technical 
training and was normally completed in time to permit graduates to par- 
ticipate in their units* final training phase of field operations. Some of this 
training occupied eight weeks, specifically, the training of clerks, cooks, and 
automotive specialists. 53 Programs for these courses were prescribed by the 
ASF and were uniform for all technical branches. 

Specialist training of chemical technicians was left to the discretion of 
the CWS and followed programs prepared by the Training Division, OC 
CWS. These latter courses of shorter duration were attended during the 
final weeks of technical training of the unit. \(Table j^)| The aim in specialist 
training of chemical technicians was primarily to teach the soldier the 
military application of skills which he already possessed. In most cases it 

D3 The automobile mechanic course of six weeks was normally accompanied by the chauffeur 
course of two weeks. 


Table 13 — Enlisted Specialists in each Chemical Service Type Company, 

World War II 



1 rade specialty 






: Generat 



for 8 typ 





j Proces 

| Labor; 

| Decon 



j Compc 

Air op 



Total specialists 










Total enlisted strength 









Ammunition handler 











Chemist _ _ 





Chemical laboratory assistant 







Chauffeur, truck driver 























Cooks _ 











Decontamination equipment operator- 





Electrician _ - 







Engineman, stationary steam 






Gas mask repairing 







Machinist _ _ _ _ 












Mechanic, general 






Munitions worker (handlers) 





Operator, smoke generator _ 










Pumpman _ 




Radio Operator. _ _ 




Sewing machine operator- _ _ 





Technician physical laboratory. _ _ 





Toxic gas handler 







Tumblerman _ _ _ 




Utility repairman 







Warehouseman. _ 




Welder, acetylene _ 




Source: Tables of Organization, World War II. 

was neither possible nor necessary to teach a student a new trade. 

In conducting enlisted specialist training, little use was made of the 
Chemical Warfare School. Two reasons for this may be adduced. One was 
the distance separating Edgewood Arsenal and Camp Sibert. Another and 
more compelling reason was the fact that when the Unit Training Center 
needed such help most, the Chemical Warfare School had little assistance 


Table 14 — Enlisted Specialist Schooling Utilized in CWS Unit Training* 



Conducted by 




unit i raining \_-enter 

M 1 1 1 s\ m n rst I ^ m ppno nip 

1 nil" 1 rQmino 1 it!" T 



Unit Training Center 

C T r iw n 1" r\' 


1 nit 1 r ') m i n i r t n 1 1 *r 

f ri Q l i TT i i r 


J.V CgllllLllL 



Replacement Training Center 

1 nrilf c 'j n n f\n L r t" p 


1 T/ 

Unit Training Center 


mUIltaVlIIC jT.1 bell _llj 

Electricians - _ _____ 


Alabama School of Trades, E. Gadsen, Ala 



Unit 1 raining Center 

Flame thrower repair_ _ 


Unit Training Center 

Gas mask repair _ - _ _ _ 


CW School, Edgewood Arsenal, Md. 



Gadsen, Ala., High School 

Radio operator 


Unit Training Center 


Unit Training Center 

Sheet metal worker _____ _ 


Unit Training Center 

Small arms repair _ _ 


Post Ordnance Office 

Toxic gas handler- _ - 


Unit Training Center 

fl This list includes only specialist training that was directly relevant to unit training and omits longer courses at Ordnance 
and Signal schools to which students were occasionally sent. 

Source: Pt. V, Training of Units (Through 30 June 1944), CWS History of Training, App. D. 

to offer. The center was therefore obliged to develop its own specialist 
school system. 

As long as MTP 3-2 provided for eight weeks of unit technical training, 
the scheme of accommodating specialist training within this period was 
followed. But a gradual slowing down of activations after 1943 permitted a 
better solution to the problem, heretofore compromised, of preactivation 
training. An outline of the procedure eventually adopted was published in 
May 1944. 54 The procedure provided for the forecasting of unit activations 
well in advance and for the preparing of trained specialists to meet such 
anticipated needs. As part of this procedure the Chief, CWS, was directed 
to issue regularly to the Unit Training Center, specialist school quotas based 
upon predicted activations. Informed as to the number of trainees to attend 
designated courses at specified dates, the commanding general of the center 
then had the responsibility of selecting suitable specialist trainees to attend 

54 ASF Cir 134, 10 May 44. 



the schools, and finally of assigning the graduates to appropriate units as 
they were activated. 

Within a month after the ASF inaugurated the new procedure, the Chief, 
CWS, was directed to revise his unit mobilization program (MTP 3-2) so 
that the cycle would be accomplished in six rather than eight weeks. 55 The 
reduction in time was made possible, the ASF apparently believed, because 
of the adoption of the new system of building up groups of specialists in 
anticipation of unit needs. In November 1944 a further refinement of the 
system was effected when the War Department indicated that specialist 
courses would be taken during the last two weeks of basic technical training 
of the individual soldier under the replacement training program. 56 This 
was a final and satisfactory answer to the problem of specialist training, but 
it was only put into effect after CWS unit training was substantially com- 

Advanced Training of Units 

The CWS UTC was more than a training center — to some extent it was 
also a depot at which chemical service companies were held until such time 
as operational need for them arose. In normal UTC practice, organizations 
were given a standard training course after completion of which they moved 
out promptly for assignment to senior tactical organizations. But at Camp 
Sibert units were often held for extended periods after completing their 
normal unit training schedule — once, in the case of a number of air opera- 
tions companies, until it was determined that anticipated need for them 
would not materialize. During 1943 it was not uncommon for units to spend 
more time at Camp Sibert after completing unit training then they had spent 
on the unit training cycle. This anomalous situation, brought on largely by 
uncertainty over the employment of gas warfare, had evidently not been 
foreseen in mobilization planning. 

In order to separate regular and advanced unit training, a provisional 
advanced training battalion was organized at Camp Sibert in August 1943. 
Into this command was transferred companies that had satisfactorily com- 
pleted prescribed unit training and whose field assignments were deferred. 
A special program for the continued training of these organizations was 
drawn up in May 194 3. 5 7 What the units needed at this particular stage of 

55 Memo, Dir of Mil Tng ASF for C CWS, 3 Jun 44, sub: Revision of Mob Tng Program for 
Unit Tng. ASF SPTRR 300.8 (3 Jun 44). 

56 MTP 3-1, 1 Nov 44. 

07 MTP 3—4, 21 May 43, which was revised as MTP 3-10, 1 Oct 44. 



their development was field maneuvering with large commands, yet the time 
for such exercises in the zone of interior had largely passed. The advanced 
training program was an attempt to fill this need. It included a series of field 
problems, any one of which could be terminated when necessary to permit 
the units to prepare for overseas duty. 

In addition to training at Camp Sibert, a number of organizations were 
sent to other stations for practical work while awaiting overseas commit- 
ment. The amphibious training of smoke generator companies at Camp 
Gordon Johnston, Fla., has already been mentioned; other units were sent 
for temporary duty to CWS installations, particularly Edgewood Arsenal, 
Md., and Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. 

The units benefited from experience gained at stations where technical 
work was being conducted. Three types of chemical units were sent from 
Camp Sibert to Dugway Proving Ground for what could be called develop- 
ment of operational experience prior to movement overseas. These were 
processing, decontamination, and air operations companies. At Dugway 
there was considerable work to be done in the field of each, work directly 
applicable to the kind of technical training they had recently completed. 
The clothing impregnation plant, used for treating clothing worn in con- 
nection with vesicant gas shoots, was operated by a processing company 
when one was available. There was always work to be done relating to de- 
contamination at the proving ground — not only the clearing of areas gassed 
in testing operations, but also the measurement of gas concentrations re- 
maining at various postattack stages. Air operations companies found a great 
deal of practical work in connection with the servicing of aircraft which 
were being used constantly in staging experimental chemical attacks. There 
was also a variety of general work in which all units could participate — 
spotting for incendiary bombing, firing of chemical mortars and rockets, the 
servicing of all types of chemical material. The atmosphere of Dugway was 
charged with realism. Chemical troops spending a brief period there after 
completion of unit training gained respect for their missions that was often 
lacking in other organizations. 

Supervision of Training 

All levels of command, from the company to ASF headquarters, were 
involved in the supervision of unit training. Formal control measures, 
designed to evaluate training and to correct deficiences, were instituted by 
UTC headquarters, by the service command, by the OC CWS, and by the 



Military Training Division of Army Service Forces. These all were geared 
to the attainment of a status of readiness for overseas service that would 
satisfy representatives of The Inspector General of the Army who had final 
responsibility for determing the adequacy of training. 

Reports made by officers assigned to UTC headquarters represented spot 
checks of specific periods of instruction. Although these frequent checks 
were useful in training management, they were more concerned with tech- 
nique than with over-all progress of training. For control of the latter there 
were involved training tests, training reports, and training inspections. The 
training test was a device employed by UTC headquarters to check the train- 
ing progress of units at three specific stages: upon completion of basic 
military training; upon completion of basic technical training; and finally 
upon completion of the entire mobilization training program. Tests were 
conducted by teams designated by UTC or post headquarters. Phases of 
training found to be unsatisfactory by these inspection teams had to be 

Another management control of considerable importance was the train- 
ing status report. This report was devised by the ASF primarily to provide 
data through which to determine the readiness of the unit for overseas 
service or for functional employment in the zone of interior. 58 As eventually 
developed, the report on each unit was prepared twice monthly and finally 
upon movement to a staging area. It contained considerable data, including 
strength, status of training, and efficiency rating. 

By the end of 1942 it became apparent that the training status report, 
while a valuable device, could not be depended upon in Washington for 
final decision as to a unit's training readiness for overseas movement. In a 
directive dated 5 January 1943, the War Department delegated to The 
Inspector General responsibility for determining, among other things, the 
state of technical training of organizations alerted for overseas duty. 50 This 
procedure was followed during the remainder of the war. It insured that all 
units moving to theaters of operation were suitably trained and equipped; 
at the same time the final IG test provided a concrete objective on which 
training controls could be focused. 

The final formal inspection of unit training activities was a means by 
which training progress was directly measured and difficulties brought to 

a8 Ltr, Dir of Mil Tng SOS to Chiefs of Supply Services, et ai. 28 Jul 42, sub: Unit Training 
With the SOS. CWS 353 (7-28-42). 

59 The reasons dictating this policy are discussed in Palmer, Wiley, and Keast, Procurement 
and Training of Ground Combat Troops , p. 584. 



light. Policy as to formal inspections was determined by the Army Service 
Forces. Inspection missions were kept to a reasonable minimum, the service 
command inspecting military training, the OC CWS inspecting technical 
features, and the Military Training Division, ASF, periodically sending 
representatives to Camp Sibert to check training operations in general. 

Chemical Service Unit Training in Retrospect 

No justification is needed for the staff policy of initiating the chemical 
service units program in 1942. To have delayed further the activation of 
chemical troops would have been dangerous in that it could easily have 
encouraged the Axis powers, especially Germany, to initiate gas warfare. 
The only postwar question that might be raised is whether there was actual 
need of so many units. 60 

Between 1940 and 1944 chemical service unit training passed through a 
complete cycle. It began with a mobilization training program that called 
for eight weeks of essentially organizational training. This was steadily ex- 
tended until, by mid-1943, two successive thirteen-week programs were 
being followed, the first for individual and the second for organizational 
training. Finally in 1944 unit training was cut back to a single six-week 
program from which everything but strictly organizational or group training 
was eliminated. Although circumstances did not permit the exhaustive test- 
ing of this curtailed procedure, available evidence indicates that six weeks 
scarcely allowed sufficient time to permit the rounded development of chem- 
ical service units to a state of readiness for active field service. The employ- 
ment of an eight-week unit training cycle would probably have been ad- 
visable — the cycle, in short, which was provided for in the prewar unit 
training program. 

Although it is thus evident that unit training returned in 1944 to approxi- 
mately the program that was in effect in 1940, it does not follow that the 
various changes made in the program were inappropriate or ill-advised. It 
would, in theory, have been preferable to limit unit training exclusively to 
the molding of military organizations out of duly prepared components and 
eliminated from the procedure all excursions into the field of individual 
training. Yet the particular circumstances surrounding the mobilization of 
chemical troops, together with factors relating to military unpreparedness in 

60 For a discussion of German preparations for chemical warfare see Ochsner, History of 
German Chemical Warfare in World War II. 



general, combined to force adoption of the procedure that was actually 
followed. And on the whole there were certain advantages to that pro- 
cedure. The combining of basic military with unit training provided in fact 
a good working solution to the problem of developing chemical service 
organizations for World War II. Even though the companies were mobilized 
at relatively late dates, there was still ample time to complete both types of 
training at the Unit Training Center and to do so before their presence in 
theaters of operation became really important. 

There was no opportunity for the CWS to test the scheme in vogue at 
the end of the war, under which chemical units were to receive all basic 
military training at an ASF training center before being sent to Edgewood 
Arsenal for technical training. To have put the plan into effect at the height 
of mobilization would have been unfortunate; when it came into force, CWS 
training activities in the zone of interior had almost ceased. 

The training of chemical units, though adequate in many phases, had 
several weak spots. One practice that caused difficulty at the CWS Unit 
Training Center was the activating of units before their components were 
adequately prepared. It is impossible for an organization to begin its growth 
until its cadre, its specialists, and its fillers have all had requisite training. 
Much is lost under a system that requires cadre personnel to learn the sub- 
jects in which the organization is being trained while unit training is actually 
in progress. That the activation of units was often too precipitate is borne 
out by the fact that not infrequently new organizations were obliged to wait 
for long periods before full quotas of fillers were received. This resulted in 
repeated starts being made on training programs with consequent lost 
motion and dulling of zest. The activation of new units by the War Depart- 
ment was an exacting and complicated procedure which generally ran 
smoothly, yet there were occasions when time could actually have been 
gained by deferring mobilization until preactivation preparations were 
further advanced. 

The operational requirements for greater functional versatility on the 
part of chemical service troops brought about eventual changes in training 
programs which in the light of full experience might well have been intro- 
duced from the first. Unit training was initially too specialized, so that 
organizations even came to resent being called upon to perform functions 
that normally pertained to another type of organization. For example, a 
processing company might be directed to take over and operate a depot; 
reluctance to do so was likely to stem from concepts implanted in early unit 
training. Later training, in addition to providing some knowledge of the 



functions of other units, sought to inspire willingness to undertake any type 
of chemical service operations. 

The amount of administrative or nontraining time needed by a unit was 
not always considered by planning agencies. After an organization com- 
pleted its training program and was ordered out, a lapse of four weeks was 
required before another unit could begin training in its place. Not less than 
two weeks had to be reserved to insure that all men could take advantage of 
furlough policies — the five days of furlough granted had to be supplemented 
by five days or more of travel time. After the company was again assembled, 
one week was spent in final processing by supply, personnel, and inspection 
teams to comply with POM instructions. Once the unit cleared the post, 
probably three weeks after finishing its training, its place could be taken by 
an untrained company. But a full week was required for receiving and 
organi2ing the new company — time which, if not allowed for, had to be 
stolen from training schedules. 

The cost of the unit training installation at Camp Sibert was heavy. Only 
eighteen months elapsed between the completion of the center in October 
1943 and its closing in April 1945. Some conception of the cost factors in 
volved in military training may be gained by prorating the cost of the center 
against the number of chemical companies that trained them. However, there 
was never serious criticism of the zone of interior training of chemical 
service companies. This training, although costly, served its purpose. 


The Chemical Warfare School 

The role of the Chemical Warfare School, like that of all service schools, 
was to present essential instruction which could not be given advantageously 
within units or in local schools. The World War II military directive govern- 
ing the school divided such instruction into two clearly defined categories: 
(i) the training of CWS personnel for branch duties, and (2) the instruc- 
tion of "officers of other arms and services of Army, Navy, Marine Corps, 
and Coast Guard in tactics and technique of chemical warfare and in protec- 
tion against chemical attack. 1 

The importance of the Chemical Warfare School training of branch 
personnel was emphasized by the fact that chemical officers and enlisted men 
were, with few exceptions, widely scattered in such small elements as to pre- 
clude effective general training at local levels. Excellent schools were con- 
ducted at Camp Sibert and at the several CWS arsenals, yet this instruction 
was for the most part directly related to tasks immediately at hand. It re- 
mained for the Edgewood school to attend to the broader aspects of the 
individual's military education. 

Before the war the Chemical Warfare School had not been actively 
engaged in the training of CWS personnel as such. As a result, when full 
mobilization began, the school had not developed and tested a series of 
courses for this purpose. More than two years elapsed after the declaration 
of war before a clear-cut solution to the problem of school training of CWS 
officers was reached. Meanwhile, many courses were instituted, employed 
for a time, and then discontinued. In this respect the experience of the 
Chemical Warfare School paralleled that of the newly established ground 
forces schools which, in contrast to the older schools of the statutory 
branches, offered a diversity of special courses. 


After the Army reorganization of March 1942, administrative control 

1 AR 350-1300, 14 Jul 42. 



of technical branch schools passed from the General Staff to the Army 
Service Forces. Under long-standing procedure, direct operational control 
of these schools was in the hands of the chiefs of branches. This arrange- 
ment continued under the provisions of a regulation which exempted the 
Chemical Warfare School, among others, from corps area supervision and 
control. 2 When the service command organization was instituted in July 
1942, the ASF adopted the policy of decentralizing all training, including 
school training, to those commands, and accordingly directed that the CW 
School be conducted under the immediate supervision of the Commanding 
General, Third Service Command. 3 Because of the technical nature of the 
instruction, the CWS contended that this procedure was not feasible. The 
matter eventually was clarified in May 1943, when the Chemical Warfare 
School was designated a Class IV installation. 4 For the remainder of the war 
period the school was operated by the Chief, CWS, for the Commanding 
General, ASF. 

For a few months early in 1942 the school fell under local jurisdiction 
of the Troops and Training Department of the Chemical Warfare Center. 6 
Also included in this department were the Replacement Training Center, 
Officers Replacement Pool, and the growing number of chemical troop units 
stationed at the center. This organizational device permitted all military ad- 
ministration and training to be centralized under the command of a single 
officer (brigadier general) . 

At this time, as for years past, the Edgewood Arsenal commander was 
ex officio commandant of the Chemical Warfare School. It was, accordingly, 
customary for the assistant commandant to command the school directly and 
to delegate to the school executive the academic functions which would 
normally be performed by the assistant commandant. This awkward pro- 
cedure was relieved in September 1942 when the functions of the school 
commandant were in effect separated from those of the arsenal commander. 6 
In October Brig. Gen. Alexander Wilson became the school commandant, 
occupying that position until April 1944. The following month, Col. 
Maurice E. Barker was returned from combat duty in Italy for assignment 
to the school where he served as commandant until after the end of the war. 

' AR 350-105, 18 Jun 42. 

3 WD GO 35, 22 Jul 42. 

4 ASF Cir 28, 12 May 43, 

5 The Chemical Warfare Center was officially activated in May 1942 to faci litate managem ent 
of the diversity of wartime activities centering at Edgewood Arsenal. See above, [Chapter Vl7| 

e AR 350—110, 1 Sep 42. 



The main building of the Chemical Warfare School, reconstruction of 
which was completed early in 1942, housed the offices of the commandant 
and his staff as well as the Commissioned Officer Division of the school. 
Officer candidate instruction centered at first in temporary buildings located 
near the school proper. This arrangement served for the first six classes; but 
rapid expansion thereafter necessitated transfer to the troop area, by the 
summer of 1942, of all OCS training activities. A similar sequence occurred 
in connection with the schooling of enlisted personnel. This training was 
negligible during 1941, except for seven small classes of Coast Guard 
ratings whose instruction proceeded without difficulty in the main school 
area. The increasing number of enlisted classes conducted in 1942 compelled 
the CW School to transfer this training to the troop area of the arsenal close 
to where the students were housed. With the transfer of classroom and field 
training of both officer candidates and enlisted personnel to the troop area 
(a distance of approximately two miles from the main school building) the 
commandant reorganized the school into three academic divisions, namely, 
Officers, Officer Candidate, and Enlisted. 

The development of training facilities for the several divisions of the 
school was always hampered by the space limitations of the Edgewood 
Arsenal reservation. Lower Gunpowder Neck contained a number of fairly 
adequate fields, but competition for them was keen, and use by the school 
was strictly limited. The school was therefore obliged to locate some new 
training areas, generally in sections not already pre-empted by research and 
development or proving ground activities. The gas obstacle course was an 
outstanding example of the type of training facility designed and constructed 
by the school for its use during the war. Another was the incendiary training 
area, in the northeast section of the reservation, where were staged realistic 
night demonstrations of the employment of incendiary munitions. For group 
instruction, bleachers were provided near field exercise areas. Indoor class- 
rooms for officer training were adequate; eventually these were also provided 
in sufficient number to meet the needs of officer candidate and enlisted 
classes. The school operated a well-equipped reproduction plant, insuring 
an ample supply of instructional materials and training aids. In spite of 
space limitations, the school's location at the Chemical Warfare Center was 
never a critical handicap — in fact in some respects the site was ideal. Yet 
certainly the accomplishment of the school's mission would have been 
facilitated if the school could have had more complete control of its opera- 
tional areas. 

The authorized capacity of the Officers Division of the school, which 



originally provided for 50 students, increased first to 200 and then to 500 in 
1942 and again to 600 in 1943. A year later, the capacity fell to 500, and on 
5 February 1945 this figure dropped to 400. The capacity for enlisted 
students in 1942 was 200. 7 These maximum capacity quotas were of value 
in stabilizing staff and faculty levels and school facilities. Because of wide 
variation in the duration of school courses, capacity maximums bore little 
relation to the volume of school training. For example, during the fiscal 
year 1943 the school graduated 6,699 students, excluding officers candidates, 
although the authorized officers* and enlisted capacity during this period 
was no more than 800. 

Training of CWS Personnel 

The two courses unquestionably needed for the general training of CWS 
officers were the Basic Course and the Advanced Course. The first was an 
introductory course for junior officers. The second was a refresher course 
for older officers, partially as qualification for admission to the Command 
and General Staff School and partially in preparation for assignment to field 
grade duties in the Chemical Warfare Service. Ideal training management 
anticipated that all newly commissioned officers would attend the Basic 
Course and that a proportion of these officers would later return to the 
school for the Advanced Course. This objective, in time, was partially 
realized as far as troop officers were concerned. In the case of officers 
commissioned from civilian life for technical or procurement duty such 
progressive training was by no means general. 

A basic course had been included in the school's curriculum for many 
years. At the Chemical Warfare School, the term "basic" was traditionally 
associated with the training of the unit gas officers of the combat arms. It 
was not until January 1942 that the first class for the basic training of CWS 
officers was assembled. The course, then of four- week duration, was intended 
to provide introductory training for officers newly called to active service, 
something the school had been recommending for more than a year. By 
then there were many CWS officers on active duty who had not been given 
basic training. Detaching these officers to attend school at that stage was a 
difficult problem. In recognition of this fact, a distinction was made in the 
original Basic Course between general and field training, the latter being 
concentrated in the separate Troop Officers Course. Officers graduating from 

T For capacities for officer candidate training, see below, 

Chapter XV, 



the Basic Course who were on technical or procurement duty returned to 
their stations, while officers slated for tactical assignment remained at the 
school another four weeks for additional training in chemical tactics and 
field operations. 

Although this integrated scheme of basic and troop training appeared 
logical and despite the fact that these courses were spirited and well con- 
ducted, actually fewer than 300 officers attended the Basic Course during 
the first half of 1942, while only 183 graduated from the Troop Officers 
Course. Clearly, little progress was being made toward meeting the mounting 
accumulation of officer training problems. 

In midsummer 1942 the scheme of separate basic and troop courses was 
dropped, and a Combined Basic and Troop Course instituted. The con- 
solidated course as finally approved provided for six weeks of instruction, 
a change which meant a lessening by 25 percent of the total length of the 
two replaced courses. During the first three weeks of the Basic Troop Course 
all students received identical instruction; for the remainder of the course, 
the classes were divided into two groups: (1) troop section and (2) non- 
troop section. Here a clear distinction was made between the tactical and the 
nontactical functions of the Chemical Warfare Service. The nontroop sec- 
tion was trained during the second half of the course in such subjects as 
principles of procurement, manufacture of war gases, and field supply of 
chemical munitions, areas in which precise knowledge on the part of chemical 
officers was often lacking. 8 

Again, as in the case of the separate basic and troop courses, this 
apparently logical approach to officer training produced disappointingly 
meager results. Only 375 officers graduated from the four classes conducted 
during the late summer and fall of 1942. By the end of October, less than 
15 percent of the CWS officers on active duty had received formal basic 
schooling. Nevertheless, the school dropped the Basic and Troop Course in 
October 1942, and basic training did not reappear on the school agenda until 
the spring of 1943- Meanwhile two new courses for training CWS officers 
were introduced. A series of four short refresher classes provided instruction 
for officers with some field experience to bring them up to date on current 
progress in chemical warfare tactics and technique. A three-week Command 
and Staff Course began at the same time with the object of preparing com- 
pany grade officers for chemical staff duty with tactical units. While the aim 

h Class Record, First Chemical Warfare Combined Basic and Troop Officers Course, 3 Jun 42. 
For each course conducted at the Chemical Warfare School there was a printed class record which 
contained a class roster and schedule of instruction. 



of both courses was the fulfillment of important training requirements, 
neither course substituted for the Basic and Troop Course which they had 
replaced on the school program. 

The elimination of basic training of chemical officers at the school at 
this particular time was to some extent a reaction to the increasing output 
of the CWS Officer Candidate School. The Officer Candidate Course was 
considered to be in the nature of basic training, so that the Basic Course was, 
up to this time, intended primarily for non-OCS-graduates. By the spring of 
1943 it was becoming evident that the thirteen- week OCS Course was not 
turning out an adequately rounded officer — nor was it in fact intended to. 
The function of the Officer Candidate School was to transmute a soldier into 
a subaltern who, either by experience or further training, would eventually 
develop the special know-how needed in the work of a commissioned officer. 
Yet opportunities to learn by experience were relatively few in the case of 
the CWS subaltern, and OCS graduates were beginning to draw assignments 
for which they were inadequately prepared. The answer was to be found in 
additional training for these young officers. 

One place where need for such training was apparent was in connection 
with OCS graduates slated for duty with Army Air Forces. Special instruc- 
tion to qualify for air duty had been undertaken in a few OCS classes but 
it was impossible to cover this field adequately during officer candidate 
training. A better answer was the Air Forces Chemical Course, designed 
specifically to acquaint CWS officers with the problems they would en- 
counter in service with air commands. This course was approved in February 
1943; nineteen classes, graduating 1,022 students, were held during the 
next two years. 

In line with the trend toward further training of OCS graduates, a 
revised Basic Course was returned to the school program in April 1943. 9 
Patterned after the Basic and Troop Course of 1942, it accommodated both 
OCS graduates and junior officers. By eliminating repetition of work covered 
in the OCS program, the new Basic Course was held to a four-week cycle. 
The classes assigned to this course were divided into two sections — service 
and troop. A common schedule prevailed during the first two weeks, after 
which each section followed its own schedule. The emphasis throughout was 
tactical, the troop section specializing in chemical weapons and the service 
section in field logistics. The theory behind the 1943 Basic Course was sound, 
but not enough training hours were allotted for the amount of ground to 
be covered. 

* Class Record, Second CWS Basic Course, 24 May-19 June 1943. 



Resumption of the mobilization of chemical battalions in May 1943 per- 
mitted the school to contribute more directly to the training of battalion 
officers than had been possible when the first series of battalions was 
organized a year earlier. A four-week Battalion Officers' Course, inaugurated 
in the summer of 1943, focused instruction on the functions of mortar com- 
pany officers. The intent was to co-ordinate classes with the activation of 
specific battalions, with the designated battalion commander acting as class 
commander and thus acquainting himself in advance with the officers who 
were to be assigned to his unit. 10 Although it was not possible to follow this 
plan exactly for all classes, the establishment of the Battalion Officers' 
Course did provide an excellent solution to the requirement for qualified 
CWS officers for the new battalions. Between the summer of 1943 and the 
summer of 1944 eleven classes, totaling 1,229 students, were graduated. 

Conclusion of the series of battalion officers classes in the summer of 
1944 coincided with the inauguration of a new course designated as the 
Combat and Service Course. 11 This supplanted the Basic Course referred to 
above, and also, in time, the Air Chemical Course. The Combat and Service 
Course represented the accumulated experience, both at the school and in 
the field, of two and a half years in the basic school training of younger 
CWS officers. It extended the range of instruction from the four weeks then 
allotted to the Basic Course, to a new high of ten weeks. It was frankly 
designed as an extension of the Officer Candidate Course, graduates of 
which were, if possible, immediately assigned to the Combat and Service 
Course. Upon completion of the latter, company grade officers were pre- 
sumably qualified for duty with both combat and service units, with field 
supply installations, or for assignment to junior staff positions in the Chem- 
ical Warfare Service. 

Compared to the training of junior officers, the school instruction of field 
grade officers was relatively stabilized. The Advanced Course was not 
initiated until April 1943, but thereafter it was conducted continuously and 
with little change. Duration was four weeks. Probably the most important 
accomplishment of this course was the preparation of CWS officers to pursue 
the Command and General Staff School courses at Fort Leavenworth. By 
midsummer 1945, the Advanced Course had graduated 544 students in 22 

Although the number of chemical officers who received general training 

10 Class Record, First Battalion Officers' Course, 30 August-25 September 1943. 

11 Class Record, First Combat and Service Course, 24 July-30 September 1944. 



at the Chemical Warfare School was relatively small, the school training of 
CWS enlisted men was on a still more modest scale. A total of twenty en- 
listed courses were presented during the war, yet only one was designed for 
the general training of chemical noncommissioned officers. 12 Early in 1942 
a four-week CWS Enlisted Men's Course was approved. This course intended 
for instruction of senior NCO's who were assigned to staff sections of major 
tactical units and who needed a broader knowledge of CWS procedures 
than could be obtained in local training. The course program included 
chemical materiel, tactics, and technique; training; military administration; 
and clerical subjects. Seven classes were conducted, each averaging seventy 
students, the last class terminating 28 November 1942. Since students were 
drawn from a wide cross section of military organizations, the influence of 
this training was greater than is suggested by the relatively small numbers 

Of the specialist courses for enlisted men, only two were integrated with 
chemical unit training. The seven-week Laboratory Course was highly tech- 
nical; officers as well as enlisted men were trained for duty with chemical 
laboratory companies. The Special Mortar Operations Course trained small 
groups of enlisted specialists for assignment to the chemical battalions 
mobilized in 1943 and 1944. The remainder of the enlisted courses con- 
ducted at the Chemical Warfare School were primarily for the instruction 
of those outside the Chemical Warfare Service. 

Training of Other Arms and Services 

At least one out of every three commissioned officers trained at the 
Chemical Warfare School came from another arm or service. The number 
of students from naval components was greater than the total sent by either 
the Army Ground Forces or the Army Air Forces. In the enlisted classes, 
outside students definitely outnumbered those from the Chemical Warfare 

Training of students from other branches was essentially specialist train- 
ing — instruction in some technical phase of protection against gas attack, 
in the handling of chemical agents in bulk, in the operation of flame 
throwers, or in the duties of unit gas personnel. Some of the specialist 
training and the training of unit gas officers and noncommissioned officers 
was, by prewar concepts, a local training responsibility and not one to be 

12 Ten of these courses were given to three classes or less. 



undertaken at the special service school level. But this training developed 
during World War II into a major activity of the Chemical Warfare School. 
School administrators regarded the Chemical Warfare Center as the best 
place for this, training for two reasons. The first was the authoritative in- 
struction available at the Chemical Warfare School. The second was 
psychological in nature. Since gas had not been used, field interest in gas 
defense training had declined; nevertheless both the War and Navy De- 
partments, in the light of their information on the possibility of gas warfare, 
insisted upon maintenance of high standards of gas discipline. Unit gas 
defense training was therefore given added prestige by the elevation of 
instructor training to the specialist school level. And the more thorough 
training available at that level imbued potential unit instructors with an 
attitude of realism toward poison gas which was favorably reflected in gas 

Despite the advantages which the Chemical Warfare School offered, out- 
side agencies depended less and less on the school as the war period 
lengthened. Indications of this development are the action of Army Air 
Forces in setting up an air chemical school at Barksdale Field, La. (later 
transferred to Buckley Field, Colo.), and the establishment of the naval 
chemical warfare school at Dugway Proving Ground. These schools were 
closer to the technical viewpoints of their arms than was the Chemical 
Warfare School. 13 

The Unit Gas Officers (UGO) Course was the most active wartime 
officers course at the Chemical Warfare School, both in number of classes 
and in students graduated. This course had been developed and improved 
over a long period of time. Originally one class was conducted each year. 
The biweekly scheduling of the class, which began early in 1941, was the 
first tangible step taken at the Chemical Warfare School in the transition 
from peace to war. Thereafter and until the end of hostilities, UGO classes 
were conducted almost continuously at the school. The course thus provided 
a direct link between the school's prewar and its wartime training operations. 
Although it improved with successive presentations, there was little change 
in the content of the course. 

In the fall of 1942, a sixty-hour course of instruction was outlined for 
training unit gas officers in unit or local schools. 14 This course was generally 
followed in training at division or corps levels. The 60 hours of instruction 

13 (i) Craven and Cate, Men and Planes pp. 650-59. (2) Bernard Baum, Dugway Proving 
Ground, pp. 100-102. MS. 

" FM 21-40, Basic Field Manual: Defense Against Chemical Attack, 7 Sep 42. 



was in contrast to the 176 hours, or 4 weeks of resident instruction, in the 
Chemical Warfare School course. The following tabulation of training hours 
allotted to the several subjects indicates the differences between the two 

Local CW School 

VGO Course Course 

Total hours 60 176 

Agents 9 15 

Materiel ^ „ 6 23 

Operations 8 34- 

Protection 22 64- 

Training 8 16 

Weather 3 10 

General subjects 4- 14- 

In all, the Chemical Warfare School conducted 45 Unit Gas Officers 
classes between February 1941 and August 1945 from which 3,025 students 
were graduated. The school organized separate classes for air and ground 
force trainees whenever the student load justified it. Because of the compre- 
hensive degree of instruction presented at Edgewood Arsenal, the graduate 
of the Chemical Warfare School course, besides emerging as an excep- 
tionally well-trained unit gas officer, was also qualified to conduct varied 
chemical warfare training in regiments and battalions. 

Paralleling the UGO Course was one for the training of enlisted per- 
sonnel in specialized duties relating to gas defense in regiments and sub- 
ordinate units. This training began at the Chemical Warfare School with 
the institution of the Noncommissioned Officers Staff Course in November 
1942. The staff course supplanted the Enlisted Men's Course for CWS per- 
sonnel already mentioned; it actually was aimed at two separate instructional 
targets — training of CWS enlisted staff personnel and training of gas NCO's. 
The NCO Staff Course was never altogether satisfactory and was soon re- 
placed by the Gas Noncommissioned Officers Course, the first class of the 
latter series commencing 13 April 1943. No attempt was made to train CWS 
personnel as such in the latter four-week course, although where classes 
included sizable numbers of chemical enlisted men, these students were 
occasionally kept at the school for a fifth week to receive special branch 
instruction. Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard enlisted men came to Edgewood 
in considerable numbers to attend the Gas NCO Course and in some cases 
they were grouped into special classes which emphasized naval aspects of 
gas protection. The school continued gas NCO classes without interruption 



until after the cessation of hostilities. These represented the most important 
training activity of the Enlisted Division of the Chemical Warfare School. 
By the end of the war 50 classes were held, and 4,086 students graduated 
from the Gas NCO Course. 

Allied to the unit gas course, but much more technical in nature, was 
the Medical Officers Course. Military physicians had studied the medical 
aspects of chemical warfare exhaustively through the 1920^ and 1930's. 
When war began the Medical Department was, from the standpoint of 
scientific data, well prepared to cope with the special problems of gas war- 
fare. But professional knowledge on this subject was by no means general, 
since medical practice provided little experience to guide physicians in the 
diagnosis and prognosis of gas casualties. Yet, an understanding of the 
proper treatment of such cases promised unusually good dividends in terms 
of lessened fatalities and early recoveries. 

The Surgeon General of the Army requested, during the summer of 
1942, that a course be conducted at the Chemical Warfare School for the 
instruction of medical officers in the therapy of gassed casualties. The War 
Department quickly approved the proposal and the first class began 7 
September 1942. Originally a four- week course, the time was cut to two 
weeks after seven classes graduated. This reduction was found to be too 
drastic, so that the course was finally stabilized at three weeks, a period 
which proved to be a satisfactory compromise between the amount of ma- 
terial to be taught and the time which the officer students could be spared 
from field assignments. 

The Medical Officers Course was a joint CWS-Medical Corps project. 
Staff instructors taught such subjects as chemical agents, operations, materiel, 
and protection, where these involved medical aspects. Experienced physicians 
presented from the school platform all professional medical subject dealing 
with gas casualties, e.g., physiopathology, symptoms, treatment, and medical 
service. The splendid facilities of the medical research laboratory at the 
Chemical Warfare Center were an important factor in this instructional 
program. Twenty-seven medical officers' classes were held and 1,973 trainees 
graduated. These scientifically trained physicians, who eventually became 
scattered through all elements of the armed forces, represented an important 
feature of the over-all scheme for defense against enemy gas attack. 

The Navy steadily used the Chemical Warfare School facilities through- 
out the entire war period. Notable in this connection was a consistent trend 
to widen the scope of instruction and to increase the number of naval 
students. The naval detachment at Edgewood Arsenal was greatly ex- 



panded during the war years, partially in order to facilitate this training. 
The naval detachment was headed by Captain Michael A. Leahy, USN, 
Retired, an officer of broad experience whose knowledge of naval procedures 
and personalities was invaluable to the school. 

There were three all-Navy courses of instruction at the Chemical War- 
fare School when the war ended. 15 The most important of these was the 
four-week Navy and Coast Guard Officers Course. This was an outgrowth 
of the semiannual Navy Course which had been a regular feature of the 
curriculum for many years prior to the war. It stressed defense of Navy and 
Coast Guard units and shore stations against chemical attack, the offensive 
use of chemical weapons by naval forces, and the training of instructors in 
this field. As finally developed, this course consolidated separate courses 
which had previously been presented to Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast 
Guard officers. 

The Navy Gas Officers and the Navy Gas Enlisted Courses, each of six 
days' duration, were not comprehensive. These short courses were limited 
to technical training in protection against war gases, with particular atten- 
tion to naval protective materiel and protective measures and decontamina- 
tion procedures afloat. Where more extended instruction of this type was 
desirable for Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard enlisted personnel, the 
students were assigned to the NCO Course after April 1943 instead of the 
special four -week classes. 

Other Navy instruction included a series of eleven classes conducted in 
1942 for training of petty officers in gas mask repair and a Navy Toxic Gas 
Handlers Course instituted early in 1943 to permit the practical training of 
both officers and enlisted men in handling bulk chemicals. The latter was 
eventually consolidated with the Toxic Gas Handlers Course which provided 
three weeks of training in this special technique for both Army and Navy 
students. In all of this work at the Chemical Warfare School, the object of 
naval instruction was to complement and further the Navy's own extensive 
training program in the field of chemical warfare. 

Like the training of Navy personnel, the instruction at the Chemical 
Warfare School for the Army Air Forces had roots extending into the pre- 
war era. The training of unit gas officers for duty with AAF commands was 
accomplished principally through the fifteen special UGO (Aviation) 
classes conducted between January 1941 and February 1943. Through this 
program, the AAF was able to implement its widespread scheme of training 

,s ASF Manual M3, 18 Nov 44 and Ci, 14 Apr 45. 



in defense against enemy gas attack. After the conclusion of this series, the 
diminishing number of AAF students were included in the regular UGO 
classes. The instruction of air enlisted personnel was limited to the training 
of gas NCO's. 

Academic Procedures 

Variations in the size of classes at the Chemical Warfare School presented 
a continuing problem in training management. Difficulties arose especially 
from fluctuations in student enrollments for succeeding classes of the same 
course. The range of these fluctuations in some cases was great, as is 
indicated by the following figures: 

Course High Low 

Unit Gas Officers 171 21 

- Unit Gas Officers (Aviation) 275 38 

Unit Gas NCO 105 27 

Combined Basic and Troop Officer 140 65 

Air Forces Chemical 111 18 

One reason for such variations in the size of classes stemmed from the 
general policy of leaving service school training optional with units. Where 
schooling was undertaken at the specific request of an agency competent to 
select and order students to Edgewood, classes were generally uniform in 
size. This was true, for example, of the Medical Officers Course and of the 
Navy and Coast Guard Course. On the other hand, when school quotas were 
distributed subject to acceptance by local commanders, fluctuations were in- 
evitable. Certainly, where the training of unit gas personnel was concerned, 
only the unit commander could decide whether attendance at a special 
service school was necessary, a situation which of course made almost im- 
possible an even flow of students. 

Prewar academic procedures at the Chemical Warfare School had been 
adjusted to classes of approximately fifty students. For most indoor instruc- 
tion, groups much in excess of this number presented a problem because of 
classroom limitations. Consequently it was often necessary to divide large 
classes into two or even three sections for classroom work, with the sections 
uniting for outdoor exercise. 

Teaching procedures followed the War Department policy and the 
school developed a library of lesson plans to implement that policy. 16 These 

16 WD policy was defined in FM 21-5, Basic Field Manual, Military Training, 16 Jul 41, and 
TM 21-50, Army Instruction, 19 Apr 43. 



plans as well as the actual methods of instruction were constantly subject 
to review and appraisal by the various Army inspectors. The library of 
lesson plans developed by the school faculty to supply this policy was a 
major factor in enabling the school to expand its training operations rapidly 
after the declaration of war. 

A criticism repeatedly directed at the school by officers conducting formal 
inspections of training was against excessive use of the lecture method in 
the explanation phase of instruction. This practice was gradually discon- 
tinued until instructors, probably to too great an extent, were avoiding the 
use of this useful teaching method. The officially approved conference 
method of explanation, involving active student participation, was difficult 
to apply in large classes and was scarcely effective for some types of school 
instruction. The trend of training procedure was definitely away from the 
academic and toward more out-of-door work involving demonstrations and 
group performance of practical problems, even though individual prepara- 
tion for such exercises was not always perfect. Toward the end of the war 
an average of 60 percent of a normal fifty-hour training week consisted of 
outdoor instruction. 

Inspectors noted a lack of uniform supervisory control in all academic 
divisions during the period of transition of the school into a three dimen- 
sional institution. This situation was probably a consequence of the fact that 
the rapid expansion of school capacity, though inevitable, was late. In the 
rush to develop instructors, the creation of an appropriate supervisory staff 
was neglected; yet, such a staff was necessary to insure the extension to 
other divisions of the excellent instructional methods which the Officers 
Division of the school had developed. The condition improved with time 
although the instructional standards of the Enlisted Division never seemed 
to equal those of the other two divisions. 

The building block of each course of instruction was the lesson. A group 
of lessons composed a subcourse. A group of subcourses in turn constituted 
a course. 

Lesson planning required, first, a decision as to the scope of the single 
lesson within the pattern of the subcourse. The next step was to determine 
the method best suited to that particular unit of the instructional process — 
lecture, conference, demonstration, or field problem. In the lesson plan such 
miscellaneous notes as text references, location of exercise, training aids re- 
quired, and other data useful to succeeding instructors could then be 

Course planning involved a synthesis of subcourses, each modified to 



conform to the objective and scope of the particular course. The subcourses 
included in the curriculum of the Chemical Warfare School were essentially 
seven: Agents, Protection, Materiel, Field Operations, Training, Weather, 
and General Subjects. These subcourses had been taught at the school for 
many years. Occasionally it was necessary to stretch the meaning of words to 
accommodate all wartime schooling within this pattern of subcourses al- 
though on the whole it served well enough. 

The examination step of the instructional procedure was informal when 
applied to the separate lesson but formal when applied to the subcourse. 
The questioning of individual students from the platform was principally an 
interest-sustaining device. Informal quizzes were useful in evaluating instruc- 
tional procedures as well as the student's progress. Graded problems were 
also considered in rating the individual. The formal written examination 
was generally used to determine how well the student had assimilated the 
instruction pertaining to each subcourse — it was the criterion for graduation. 

The Faculty Board met before the graduation of each class to consider 
the work of individual students. The board included the commandant or 
assistant commandant, director of the appropriate academic division, the 
course director, the instructors principally concerned, and the school sec- 
retary. Frequently the board was expected to assay the qualifications of CWS 
officers for particular types of duty or for more extended military training, 
in addition to determining their elegibility for graduation. When records 
indicated an average of seventy or above on written work, if the student was 
otherwise qualified, he was voted a certificate of satisfactory completion of 
the course. If work in any one subcourse fell below the required standard 
and the work could not be made up, this subcourse was red-lined from the 
certificate. When there was a failure in more than one subcourse, the Faculty 
Board determined whether under Army Regulations the student should be 
graduated or not. 17 This procedure applied both to the Officers Division, 
where failures were 3.5 percent of all enrollees, and to the Enlisted Division, 
where failures averaged 3 percent. 18 

Western Chemical Warfare School 

The West Coast Chemical Warfare School, as indicated, was established 
at Camp Beale, Calif., in December 1943 and was transferred to Rocky 

17 AR 350 no, 1 Sep 42. 

18 The procedure followed in the Office r Candidate Division for determining eligibility for 
graduation is described below, [Chapter XV~| 



Mountain Arsenal in May 1944. 19 Before the school opened, instructors were 
chosen from among former members of the faculty of the Chemical Warfare 
School at Edgewood and the recently deactivated War Department Civilian 
Protection Schools at Seattle, Palo Alto, and Los Angeles. 20 It was fortunate 
that the CWS had access to competent instructors, for the press of ad- 
ministrative duties accompanying the opening of the new school left little 
time for close supervision of teachers. 21 The authorized courses were: 

Unit Gas Officers (4 weeks): Identical with the course standardized at 
Edgewood Arsenal. 

Gas Noncommissioned Officers (4 weeks): Same course as given at 
Edgewood Arsenal. 

Navy Gas Course (Officers) (6 days): Defense of naval forces and 
shore stations against gas attack; offensive use of chemicals by naval forces. 

Navy Gas Course (Enlisted) (3 days): Special duties involved in pro- 
tection of naval units and stations against gas attack. 22 

CWS Refresher (10 days) : To provide a knowledge of recent develop- 
ments in chemical warfare and to review the principles of defense against 
gas attack; intended primarily for instruction of CW-trained company grade 

CWS Familiarization (10 days): To demonstrate to field and general 
officers other than CWS the potentialities of chemical warfare in the Pacific 
Ocean areas. 

Air Raid Protection (6 days) : Air raid protection measures applicable 
to military installations and co-ordinated with civilian protection agencies. 23 

The last three courses were obviously of a precautionary nature to be 
given only under circumstances which fortunately failed to materialize. The 
remaining courses, two for Army and two for Navy personnel, represented 
the real working activities of the school. The orientation of this instruction 
was definitely toward the war against Japan. 

Academic procedures at the western school were identical with those 
developed and practiced at the Chemical Warfare School. The original corps 
of instructors were all products of the older school, and relieving officers 

19 See above. fChapter VI.I 

20 See above | ChapteT^q 

21 Memo, C Fid Tng Br OC CWS for CG ASF, n Feb 44, sub: Inspection of West Coast 
Chemical School, Camp Beale, Calif. CWS 333. 

22 The length of this course was later extended to six days. 

23 (i) ASF Cir 138, 2 Dec 43. (2) Courses at Rocky Mountain Arsenal were a continuation 
of those given at Camp Beale. 



were generally veterans of the Pacific theaters. Eventually, much of the train- 
ing was in the hands of instructors with combat experience. The total number 
of graduates at Camp Beale and Rocky Mountain was as follows: 


Officers Enlisted students 

Total 1,101 1,571 

Army 375 854 

Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard 725 712 

WAC 1 5 

Careful plans were made at the Western Chemical Warfare School in 
connection with the redeployment training projected for the final struggle 
with Japan. Fortunately, it was possible to discard these plans when the 
enemy capitulated in August 1945, and the school was inactivated in 
September 1945. 25 

The Western Chemical Warfare School was an experiment in prepared- 
ness which would have paid appreciable dividends had operations in the 
final stages of World War II taken a different turn. As it was, experience 
in the conduct of this school demonstrated that, given a nice combination of 
facilities, training know-how, and proper direction, a gratifying satisfactory 
end product of instruction will result. The school was small and its im- 
mediate training objectives were modest; yet the success with which it accom- 
plished its mission indicated that, if necessary, it could easily have under- 
taken a more ambitious program. 

Other Schools 

As the war progressed, the CWS gained fresh knowledge on the per- 
formance of gas agents under a variety of climatic conditions and means of 
dispersion, based on scientific data accumulated in tests at chemical warfare 
experiment stations in Florida, Panama, and Utah. This development and 
testing work necessitated some review of logistical data and, equally im- 
portant, some retraining of personnel. The empirical nature of some of the 
data was such that the CWS cautiously considered the radical revision of 
its whole training position in the field of offensive gas warfare. Neverthe- 
less, the War Department was convinced that the new information must 
be passed on to officers assigned to drawing up gas warfare plans. 

In September 1943, a group of four Navy officers was sent to Dugway 

2i Tabulation of Graduates, Western CW School, 31 Aug 45. 
25 ASF Or 331, 1 Sep 45. 



Proving Ground (Tooele, Utah) to study field trials in progress at that 
station in order to work up instructional material on offensive gas warfare 
for use within the Navy. Its work gradually expanded until, in November 
1943, the group was officially designated as the "U.S. Navy Chemical War- 
fare Training Unit,'* with responsibility to the Navy for research and training 
in offensive chemical warfare. This unit had two principal functions: (1) 
preparation of training literature, including films, and (2) conduct of a 
school for the training of Navy aerologists. By agreement with the War 
Department, the Navy conducted this training at Dugway Proving Ground. 

The emphasis in this training was originally on micrometeorology — that 
is, weather conditions at or within a few feet of the earth's surface, the area 
in which the antipersonnel effectiveness of gas warfare is ultimately meas- 
ured. The excellence of Navy instruction in this field soon attracted the 
attention of the Army Air Forces, the military agency primarily concerned 
with meteorology. At War Department request, the Navy gladly accepted 
air officers as students in these classes. 

The Navy Chemical Warfare Training Unit was soon pioneering in a 
hitherto somewhat neglected field of scientific study, the behavior of chem- 
ical agents in the "micromet" zone. It was also utilizing quite advanced 
CWS test data, some of which were still experimental, in its teaching. After 
observing the progress of this instruction, the Chief, CWS, requested and 
the Navy agreed to institute a micrometeorology course for CWS Officers. 
Seven such classes were conducted at irregular periods between October 
1944 and September 1945, each running for two weeks. The objective of 
the course was officially stated as being to train chemical officers in the 
planning of gas offensive operations, with full cognizance of micro- 
meteorological conditions. A total of 186 officers received this training. 
The instructional material developed in this course was, after the cessation 
of hostilities, transferred to the curriculum of the Chemical Warfare School. 

Because of apprehension during the latter stages of the war over the 
possibility of enemy employment of biological agents, the War Department 
decided in 1944 to improve its defensive position in this field. One measure 
was the inauguration of a two-week course of instruction in technical 
measures of defense against biological attack. This training was computed 
by the CWS at Camp Detrick, Md. Five classes were held between February 
and July 1944, the attendance being limited to senior and specially qualified 
chemical and medical officers and their naval counterparts. The assignment 
of graduates to theaters of operation was a means of insuring that chemical 
and medical officers could be properly coached in anti-BW procedures 



should a need to apply them arise. A total of 217 officers was graduated 
from this course. 26 

Accomplishment of School Training 

The training accomplishments of the Chemical Warfare schools can be 
summarized in the record of 21,673 graduations from the Chemical Warfare 
School at Edgewood during the emergency and war periods {Table ij>), 

Table IS — Graduates of the Chemical Warfare School, 
Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland* 1 


(CWS and 






















TotaL. _ 
















Jul-Dec 1939 




Jan-Jun 1940____ 





Jul-Dec 1940„„- 









Jan-Jun 1941 










Jul-Dec 1941 










Jan-Jun 1942 











Jul-Dec 1942 














Jan-Jun 1943 
















Jul-Dec 1943. .__ 
















Jan-Jun 1944.. 














Jul-Dec 1944._. _ 













Jan-Jun 1945..-- 














* Exclusive of OCS Graduates. 
Source: Chemical Corps School records. 

2,672 graduations from the Western Chemical Warfare School, 388 from 
the course at Dugway Proving Ground, and 217 from the course at Camp 

Besides the graduation of students, the development of courses repre- 
sented a major school accomplishment. Forty-six titles designated the 
various courses presented at the Edgewood and Dugway schools between 
1 94 1 and 1945. Some of these courses met only a short-term training require- 
ment. Others were eventually modified or merged under new titles. There 

56 Cochrane, Biological Warfare Research in the United States, Vol. II, p. 46. 



still remained during the last months of the war the following approved 
courses: 27 

Chemical Warfare Combat and Service (10 weeks): For basic training 
of junior CWS officers. 

Advanced (5 weeks): For training captains and field grade officers in 
chemical operations, staff procedures, and supply functions. 

Air Forces Chemical (4 weeks) : To qualify CWS officers to perform the 
duties of chemical officers with the AAF. 

ASF Depot, Phase II (4 weeks) : For training CWS officers in supply, 
depot, and toxic gas yard operations supplementing the ASF Depot Course 
(Phase I), conducted at the Quartermaster School. 

CWS Laboratory (7 weeks) : To train CWS officers and enlisted men 
to carry out technical functions of field laboratory companies. 

Toxic Gas Handlers (Officers) (3 weeks) : To train officers in all phases 
of handling offensive chemical warfare munitions, naval materiel, and bulk 

Medical Department Officers (3 weeks) : To train medical officers in 
the identification of chemical warfare agents, decontamination, and the 
prevention and care of chemical warfare casualties. 

Unit Gas Officers (4 weeks) : To train AGF, AAF, and ASF officers other 
than CWS in the duties of unit gas officers. 

Flame Thrower (2 weeks): To qualify officers and enlisted men to in- 
struct in and supervise the operation and maintenance of flame throwers. 

Navy and Coast Guard (4 weeks) : To give Naval and Coast Guard 
officers practical and theoretical training in chemical warfare. 

Navy Gas (Officer) (6 days): To train Naval officers in methods and 
recent developments in protection against chemical agents. 

CWS Refresher (10 days): A stand-by course for quick retraining of 
CWS officers upon commencement of gas warfare. 

CWS Familiarization (10 days) : To demonstrate to ranking officers the 
potentialities of offensive chemical warfare; a stand-by course to be given 
in the event of gas warfare. 

CWS Officer Candidate (17 weeks) : To qualify candidates for commis- 
sion as second lieutenants, AUS, for duty in the CWS. 

Gas Noncommissioned Officers (4 weeks) : To qualify members of AGF, 
AAF, ASF, and of Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and WAC, to fulfill 
duties of gas NCO's in their units. 

27 ASF Manual M3, 18 Nov 44 and Ci, 16 Apr 45. 



Navy Gas (EM) (6 days) : To train Navy enlisted personnel in duties 
relative to defense of naval units and shore stations against chemical attack. 

Toxic Gas Handlers (2 weeks) : To train military and naval service en- 
listed personnel in the efficient and safe handling of toxic chemicals. 

In view of the fact that MTP specialist schooling was offered elsewhere, 
the number of Chemical Warfare School courses conducted during the war 
was large, if not excessive, for a school of this size. The diversity of back- 
ground represented by the students was greater than that found in any other 
special service school. Since the training facilities of the school were placed 
so generally at the disposal of agencies outside Army Service Forces control, 
little was done to regulate the flow of students; consequently, the training 
load could seldom be anticipated precisely. These factors all combined to 
make operation of the Chemical Warfare School a challenging and reward- 
ing undertaking. 

Although most CWS officers who filled tactical assignments during the 
war received some training at the Chemical Warfare School, those officers 
whose principal wartime duties were performed at CWS installations were 
in many cases not so fortunate. At best, the school training of CWS per- 
sonnel was spotty. 

The primary reason why training of CWS officers was not begun earlier 
and why it was not given to more individuals was the lack of understanding, 
both on the part of the school and the Training Division in the Chief's 
Office, of the true training mission of the CWS. The early school administra- 
tion lacked a comprehensive view of the over-all functions of the Chemical 
Warfare Service. Because of the school's preoccupation with the tactics and 
technique of chemical warfare and with gas defense instruction, it was in- 
clined to overlook the fact that the CWS was primarily a technical and 
supply branch. It therefore failed to move aggressively in extending school 
training into the fields of procurement, supply, and related activities; and its 
faculty was always short of instructors well grounded in such subjects. 

The Chief's Office to a considerable extent shared the school's predilec- 
tion for tactical rather than logistical instruction. At least, it was slow in 
correcting or compensating for this obvious tendency on the part of the 
school. It was tardy in presenting to other agencies of the Chemical Warfare 
Service the importance of school training in facilitating the nontactical func- 
tions of the branch. Because of the late date at which the training of CWS 
personnel was actively undertaken at the school, it was difficult if not im- 
possible to recover the ground that had been lost during the period of 
partial mobilization. Responsibility for this situation rested more with the 



OC CWS than with the school. The essential job of the school was to teach 
the students who were sent to it, according to programs of instruction ap- 
proved by higher authority; it had no responsibility for the selection of 
students and it was only partially involved in the initiation of new courses. 

A greater degree of prescience in the period when war was foreshadowed 
undoubtedly would have simplified the wartime operations of the Chemical 
Warfare School and provided for increased effectiveness. These operations 
proved to be much more extensive than had been considered likely for a 
major war in which toxic chemical agents were not employed. At the same 
time the development of the school was not in fullest measure in the direc- 
tion of meeting the immediate training requirements of the Chemical War- 
fare Service. What was lacking at the outset was a clear picture of the school 
as an integral part of the larger undertaking of CWS wartime training, a 
picture which in fact only developed in complete outline as the war pro- 
gressed. Consequently, false starts were sometimes made and opportunities 
were lost which could not be retrieved. The whole record of the school's 
wartime accomplishments, however, is impressive, particularly in the field 
of protection against chemical attack. Here the impetus of its work extended 
to all elements and echelons of the armed forces. 


Officer Candidates 

OCS Role in Officer Procurement 

During World War I the Chemical Warfare Service obtained its officers 
either by transfer from other branches or by the direct commissioning of 
specially qualified civilians. Prior to World War II a substantial body of 
Reserve and National Guard officers had been developed, a group which, 
it was recognized, would have to be reinforced in time of emergency by the 
temporary commissioning of some technical specialists. While the need for 
officer candidate training was appreciated, there was no expectation that 
this training would contribute materially to the officer procurement program 
in a major war. Actually the CWS Officer Candidate School in World War 
II provided a total of 6,413 second lieutenants, many of whom rose to field 
grade before the end of hostilities. 1 

When war was declared, nearly one thousand CWS officers were on 
active duty, 90 percent of whom were nonregulars. After Pearl Harbor the 
officer procurement curve began to rise more sharply. The officer strength 
of the CWS stood at approximately 1,800 when the first OCS class of 20 
second lieutenants was commissioned at Edgewood on 4 April 1942. Most 
of the officers then on duty were Reservists or men having other military 
background. It became clear by this time that other sources would have to 
be tapped to provide the large increase of officers required by the expanding 
CWS program. 

Compared to the number of officers procured from other sources, the 
OCS contribution was negligible even in the late summer of 1942, when 
CWS offi cer strength of three thousand included only two hundred OCS 

graduates {Chart 11) The rapid rise in OCS output, which began in the 
fall of 1942, brought the two lines into approximate balance so that for 
the next nine months the increase in officer strength had an almost direct 

1 CWS OCS class records. 

Chart 11 — Chemical Warfare Service Officer Strength and OCS 
Graduations: May 1940-July 1945 









\ Officer Stren 



DCS Graduatia 


J- J 


I I I — I — I I — I— »— I — I — I — I — I — I — I I t — I — I I I — ! 


1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 

Source: Annual Reports of the Secretary of War, 1940-1941, 
Appendix A, CWS-OCS Class Records. 



relation to OCS graduations; in other words, during this period the Officer 
Candidate School was almost the only source from which the Chemical 
Warfare Service derived its new officers. When both lines began to level off 
toward the end of 1943, total officer strength still exceeded OCS graduations 
by approximately three thousand; yet two out of every three CWS officers 
had received their commissions at the Officer Candidate School. 3 

Capacity Targets 

The Army's officer candidate program of World War II got under way 
in July 1941 with the opening of ten schools. 3 Each was under direct control 
of the chief of an arm or service. No school was authorized for the training 
of CWS officer candidates at this time although provision was made for 
CWS soldiers selected as officer candidates to be trained and commissioned 
in other branches. 4 In August the Chief, CWS, was advised by the War 
Department to be prepared to open a small chemical warfare OCS in 
January 1942. The War Department confirmed this decision in November 
1941, when it increased the number of officer candidate schools from ten to 
thirteen and established a total capacity for 3,595 students, of which the 
CWS school was allowed a quota of twenty. 5 

It soon became standard procedure for the War Department to set 
quarterly the capacity of each officer candidate school. Using this figure as 
a basis, the branch concerned drew up an allocation of vacancies to senior 
commands such as armies, corps areas, and replacement training centers. 
This allocation was reported to The Adjutant General, who then handled 
the distribution of quotas, including those to overseas commands. 6 The War 
Department thus retained control over the size of the schools. Such cen- 
tralized control appeared necessary since capacities of the schools were 
dictated by requirements for officers which in turn were computed from a 
frequently changing troop basis. 

This arrangement held until March 1943, when control over officer 
candidate enrollment was delegated to the three major commands of the 

2 Although records as to total CWS officers and of OCS graduates are exact, only a rough 
estimate is available of the number of OCS graduates transferred to other branches during the war. 

3 The location and type of these schools are indicated in Biennial Rpt of the Chief of Staff, 
1939-41. Chart 8. 

4 Ltr, AGO to CofS GHQ et al. } 30 Aug 41, sub: Officer Candidate Schools. AG 352 (8-23-41) 

5 WD Cir 245, 26 Nov 41. 
'WD Cir 126, 28 Apr 42. 


War Department. After a year of operation under this arrangement the 
War Department in March 1944 resumed control over OCS enrollments, 
returning to a procedure essentially similar to that which had been in force 
initially. 7 

The Chief, CWS, was advised informally from time to time by the 
General Staff as to major changes in OCS capacity foreseen by variations in 
the chemical troop basis. The first of several such notifications came shortly 
after the declaration of war when the CWS was directed to plan for the 
expansion of its officer candidate school to a capacity of 100 "at the earliest 
practicable date,'* with the understanding that further slight increases might 
be necessary. 8 

The latter proved to be an understatement. Four months later, the Chem- 
ical Warfare Service was instructed to expand its officer candidate school 
to accommodate a total of 1,150 enrollees, this goal to be reached by 1 
September 1942.° Within a few weeks, and while plans were being made 
to accomplish this increase, the CWS studied the current troop basis as then 
listed for 1942 and computed the CWS officer requirements for 31 December 
1942 to be: 10 

Total 5,091 

CWS officers with AAF__„_ 800 

AGS and ASF units 1,186 

Branch duty 3,105 

On the basis of these figures, the Chief, CWS, recommended to the War 
Department that capacity of its officer candidate school be increased from 
the then authorized figure of 1,150 to a new level of 3,068. This recom- 
mendation was formally approved in June 1942. 11 By this time the OCS had 
produced, in two classes, a total of 46 second lieutenants. 

Although this ambitious new objective, equaling a thousand graduates 
a month, was officially adopted, it was never attained. The peak of OCS 
production came in December, when 895 graduates received commissions. 

T The variations in operating procedure may be traced in the several revisions of AR 625—5 
issued during the war. 

8 Memo. ACofS G-s for C CWS, 16 Jan 42, sub: Increase in CWS OCS. G-3/43276. 
Ltr, Dir of Tng SOS to C CWS, 16 May 42, sub: OCS. SOS SPTRS 35*- 

10 Memo, C CWS for ACofS G-3, 2 Jun 42, sub: Expansion of Chemical Warfar e Officer Can- 
didate School. CWS 353/342. For actual strength figures as of December 1942, see l Appendix A.| 

11 Memo, Deputy Dir of Tng, SOS for C CWS, 9 Jun 42, sub: Expansion of CW OCS. SOS 



But already the trend of enrollments had begun to decline. The situation had 
been correctly appreciated two months earlier by the Training Division, OC 
CWS, when an analysis was made of the officer candidate procurement 
program. This predicted the following officer requirements as of i July 
1943 : 12 

Total 7,740 

Plus 5% attrition 387 

Grand total 8,127 

CWS officers with AAF 1,500 

AGF (including CW units) 2,595 

Service commands 650 

CWS installations 2,995 

The CWS therefore had to plan in October 1942 to more than double 
its commissioned officer strength during the next nine months. It expected 
to obtain 1,400 officers by direct appointment to the then authorized Army 
Specialist Corps. A mere handful of ROTC graduates could be counted on. 
The remainder of the new officers needed would have to come from the 
Officer Candidate School. The Training Division estimated that classes then 
in session or scheduled would meet most of this requirement and that after 
1 January 1943 the OCS production rate would be greater than needed. The 
Chief of the Training Division, therefore, recommended that the school 
capacity be reduced to 1,440 students. 13 As it turned out, this was still some- 
what beyond CWS requirements. Decreasing demand for officers was strik- 
ingly reflected by the cutback in authorized capacity to 100 as of 1 July 
1943. 14 

In March 1944 the Chief, CWS, was advised by The Adjutant General 
that because of declining requirements the CWS Officer Candidate School 
would be closed with graduation of the 28th Class on 8 July 1944. This 
action was viewed with misgivings by the CWS. General Porter immediately 
submitted a formal recommendation that the school not be closed; that 
instead it continue to operate on a stand-by status to accommodate three 

12 (i) Memo, C CWS for Dir of Tng, SOS, 28 Oct 42, sub: Capacity of Chemical Warfare 
Officer Candidate School. CWS SPCW 352/1. (2) CWS officer strength of 1 July 1943 was 
8,177 thus making this an uncannily accurate forecast. 

13 Memo, Col E. F. Bullene for C CWS, 9 Oct 42, no sub. CWS 352/1-370.2. 

14 Memo, AGO for C CWS, 8 Jun 43, sub: Capacity for Chemical Warfare Service Officer 
Candidate School. AG (5 Jun 43) OB-D-SPGAO. 



classes per year of fifty students each. 15 Although the CWS was at this time 
somewhat overstrength in officers, two good reasons supported this pro- 
posal. The requirement for platoon leaders with chemical mortar battalions 
was continuous. And immediate need for additional officers was forecast 
should gas warfare materialize — a consideration that always influenced 
CWS planning. But in spite of these strong arguments against entirely dis- 
banding the efficient OCS organization that had been developed during the 
preceding two years, the War Department decided otherwise and directed 
that the school be suspended on 8 July. 16 

This dictum remained in effect for over two months, during which time 
only one class (the 28th) was in session at the school. Shortly before the 
graduation of this class the War Department changed its mind and revoked 
the suspension order. 17 The 29th class was accordingly convened on 17 July 
1944, and by October four classes were being accommodated with a total 
enrollment exceeding 700 students. No further major changes of capacity 
were directed until after the cessation of hostilities. 

The wide fluctuations which thus characterized top level direction of 
CWS officer candidate training had the inevitable effect of confusing the ad- 
ministrative operation of the school. 


The first OCS classes conducted at Edgewood Arsenal were housed in 
newly built structures provided in connection with the Chemical Warfare 
School enlargement program of 1941, This arrangement was satisfactory as 
long as the OCS enrollment was small. In order to accommodate the greatly 
increased student body projected for the summer of 1942, it became necessary 
to provide much more extensive facilities than could be made available in 
the immediate vicinity of the Chemical Warfare School. The pending trans- 
fer of the Replacement Training Center to Alabama provided an answer 
to the problems of increased OCS facilities — in fact, the requirement for 
OCS training at Edgewood Arsenal was one of the reasons influencing the 
War Department decision to relocate the Chemical Warfare Service RTC. 

The inadequacies that hampered the training of replacements at Edge- 
wood Arsenal also hindered the training of officer candidates, once the 
vacated RTC area was occupied by the Officer Candidate School in the 

15 Ltr, C CWS to CG ASF, 6 Apr 44> sub: CW Officer Candidate School. CWS 353 ASF. 
lfi WD Cir 150, 15 Apr 44. 
11 WD Cir 261, 26 Jun 44- 



summer of 1942. Lack of sufficient barracks was temporarily met by housing 
several hundred officer candidates in tents; yet need for other facilities was 
imperative. New temporary construction, authorized by the War Depart- 
ment to meet OCS requirements, and substantially completed by December 
1942, included: 8 school buildings, 2 mess halls, 1 administration building, 
1 post exchange, 1 supply building, and 17 barracks. 18 

Although academic and administration buildings for the accommodation 
of officer candidates were eventually provided in adequate measure, field 
training facilities at the Chemical Warfare Center were never entirely suit- 
able. This was particularly true of ranges for firing of chemical mortars and 
for the reconnaissance and occupation of mortar positions. Because competi- 
tion between the Chemical Warfare Center and Aberdeen Proving Ground 
for the use of the limited range areas on Gunpowder Neck was keen, it was 
necessary to reschedule a great deal of officer candidate training. 

The final location of the Officer Candidate Division at a distance of some 
two miles from the Chemical Warfare School proper had the inescapable 
effect of lessening intimate supervisory control of officer candidate training 
by the school authorities. This minor difficulty might have been avoided had 
more integrated planning of OCS facilities been feasible. 

Selection of Candidates 

One out of every five candidates who entered the CWS Officer Can- 
didate School failed to complete the course. Important among the several 
reasons which explain this waste of training effort were defects in the system 
of officer candidate selection. 

Until the closing months of the w r ar, final selection of students to attend 
the course was made by senior field commanders to whom quota allotments 
were made by the OC CWS. Criteria for selection were announced by the 
War Department. A direct relationship was evident between the caliber of 
selectees and the size of quotas. As long as enrollment was limited, there was 
little difficulty in obtaining qualified men to meet the quotas. After the 
demand for officers rose rapidly in 1942, a less impressive type of officer 
candidate began to appear at the school. This was a consequence of War 
Department policy probably as much as it was a result of mistakes by 
selection boards at Army installations. 

Initially, students were required to attend schools of their own arms and 

18 CWS History of Training, Pt. I, Training of Officer Candidates, p. 9. 



services unless they were found particularly qualified for service in another 
branch. 19 The acute shortage of officers which developed immediately after 
the declaration of war necessitated a reversal of this policy. In February 
1942, the War Department announced that "it is essential that all schools 
be filled to capacity for each course with the most highly qualified applicants, 
irrespective of the arm or service of applicants/' 20 The enlisted strength of 
the Chemical Warfare Service was inadequate to provide enough candidates 
to fill the quotas that were being set up in the spring of 1942. The classes, 
therefore, became crowded with airmen, infantrymen, and soldiers from 
other services, mostly men who for one reason or another were unsuccessful 
in obtaining admission to officer candidate schools of their own branches. 
The emphasis placed by the CWS officer candidate course on chemical 
mortar operations proved extremely difficult for men who lacked basic train- 
ing with chemical organizations, and this accounted for many turnbacks and 
eventual separations. 

Another factor which in the view of the school authorities interfered 
with the selection of more suitable candidates was lack of appreciation by 
selecting officers of the necessary qualifications of an officer candidate. 
Organization commanders were under constant pressure to fill OCS quotas. 
That many men were sent to the Edgewood Arsenal school who were in- 
eligible for other courses appeared evident to the instructional staff. 

Action was finally taken by the War Department toward remedying what 
had been a source of irritation for two years — the sending of improperly 
selected trainees to officer candidate schools. In September 1944 certain 
technical branches, including the CWS, were authorized to make final selec- 
tion of candidates provisionally selected by local commanders. 21 The con- 
trolling factor in this action on the part of branch chiefs was the academic 
qualification of the applicant, other qualifications having presumably been 
passed by field commanders. This promising departure in selection pro- 
cedure was carefully observed by the Chemical Warfare Service. A board of 
three officers was appointed to study the individual records of applicants as 
they came in. Only four classes (Nos. 33-36) were enrolled under the new 
procedure, so that experience with it was limited. Data relating to these 
four classes are of some significance. 22 

™ WD Or 245, 26 Nov 41. 

20 WD Cir 48, 19 Feb 42. 

21 AR 625-5, 12 Sep 44. 

22 Memo, Lt Col Earl A. Shrader for C CWS, 21 Jun 45, sub: Central Selection of Candidates 
for CWS OCS. CWS 314.7 Training File. About one third of the candidates were not chosen 
under the central selection system, but came from overseas. 



The CWS selection board rejected approximately two out of every three 
applications presented to it. The result was to limit enrollment in the four 
final classes to a total of 253 candidates (not counting turnbacks); these 
classes were the smallest that the school had accommodated since the summer 
of 1942. This almost drastic action did have the result of cutting losses, 
under the system of central selection, to the comparatively favorable figure 
of 15.9 percent. Reduction of losses due to academic failure was particularly 
notable. Leadership losses, however, now stood in the order of four to one 
over academic failures — a proportion much higher than encountered earlier. 23 
This merely emphasized a fact already recognized — that it is easier to 
eliminate potential failures on the academic level than in the field of 

A small percentage of the officer candidates were Negroes. The records 
of these men were in no way distinguishable from those of white students. 
The Chemical Warfare Center made no distinction between candidates on 
the basis of race with no segregation whatever in the dormitories or the mess 
halls. White and Negro students, of course, sat in the same classes. 24 

Staff and Faculty 

Before 1942 the academic organization of the Chemical Warfare School 
was based on the type of subject taught rather than on the type of student. 
This division of the faculty into groups of technical specialists was logical 
since up to that time commissioned officers were almost the only students 
attending the school. The introduction of the officer candidate course into 
the school curriculum brought about for the first time the development of a 
faculty group for a special category of students. 

The first class of twenty officer candidates was taught by instructors 
assigned to the various technical divisions of the school, and most of whose 
specialties were involved to some extent in the OCS course. From the 
graduates of the first class, four second lieutenants were selected for detail 
as OCS instructors. Subsequent classes provided many more instructors and 
tactical officers to meet the rapidly increasing requirements of late 1942. At 
the same time older and more experienced instructors were drawn in lesser 
numbers from other departments of the school. 

The CWS Officer Candidate School was headed by a field officer, usually 


24 These statements are based on interviews with a number of former OCS candidates. 



a lieutenant colonel, who was officially styled Director of the Officer Can- 
didate Division of the Chemical Warfare School. 

Training operations were divided among three sections — academic, field 
service, and troop command. The academic section handled all technical 
instruction. Tactics and basic military instruction were responsibilities of the 
field service section. Infantry drill, physical training, mass athletics, and 
guard duty were all conducted by the candidates themselves under super- 
vision of tactical officers who were members of the troop command section. 
The latter section was also responsible for the military administration of the 
corps of candidates. 

The three operating sections accounted for all the scheduled and non- 
scheduled activities of officer candidate training on a simple, well-defined 
basis. The activities of the three sections were in turn co-ordinated by an 
assistant director in charge of instruction. This officer also was responsible 
for the provision of training aids, the preparation of schedules, and the 
maintenance of students* grades and ratings. In 1944, the office of the 
assistant director in charge of instruction was reorganized as the plans sec- 
tion of the school on a level with the three operating sections without, 
however, changing these designated functions. 

Since the officer candidate course aimed at two distinct objectives — the 
development of military leadership and training in military techniques — 
two somewhat distinct types of faculty members were required: the tactical 
officer and the technical instructor. Tactical officers were assigned to the 
platoons, companies, and battalions into which the corps of candidates was 
organized. It was their special function to observe and report on the manner 
in which the candidates carried out the various staff assignments incident to 
the command of these units. An important duty of the tactical officer was 
to detect those disqualifying defects in bearing and personality which, as 
"leadership deficiency accounted for the relief of at least one out of every 
five who failed the course. It was the tactical officer more than anyone else 
who was responsible for developing the potential leader into a dependable 
platoon commander. Thus in a broad sense the tactical officer was an in- 
structor, although he taught less by precept than by example and suggestion. 
Tactical officers were usually recruited from promising graduates of recent 
OCS classes, the number assigned being directly proportional to the size 
of the student body. The able manner in which these newly commissioned 
second lieutenants assumed the role of tactical officer appeared to minimize 
need for more formal preparation for this important work. 

The academic instruction of candidates was in the hands of officers who 



for the most part were somewhat older, more experienced as teachers, or 
who were otherwise qualified in specialized subjects. Building up this part 
of the faculty on the whole presented more of a problem than did selection 
of the tactical officers and supervision of their work. Well-qualified teachers 
were difficult to obtain and many of the new instructors did not prove ade- 
quate. In an effort to improve the situation the school instituted a teacher 
training course in November 1942. This course, which was conducted by 
two officers experienced in teacher training, was ten hours in length and 
was given over a five-day period. It resulted in considerable improvement 
in the instruction at the OCS. 25 

Although the job of forging a competent OCS faculty proceeded at a 
fairly rapid pace, progress along these lines could scarcely keep up with 
the accelerated growth of the school during the first year of its existence. 
The factor of instructor competence was directly related to the curve of 
instructor strength. Between June and October 1942 the strength of the 
staff and faculty soared from 31 to 215. This rate of expansion definitely 
exceeded the rate at which new instructors could be assimilated into the 
school staff. It was not until after the peak had been reached and instructor 
strength began to recede in the spring of 1943 that the highest standards of 
training effectiveness were reached. 

A fair picture of the school at the end of December 1942 is afforded by 
the report of a training inspection conducted by an infantry officer, Col. 
C. L. Irwin. 20 At this time, 1,880 officer candidates were in training, the ratio 
of instructors to students being 1 to 15.8. Instructors were reported as being 
well qualified in their subjects. However, their presentations were not being 
adequately supervised, nor was the instructor training program sufficiently 
advanced. These were criticisms aimed more particularly at the Chemical 
Warfare School than at the Officer Candidate Division of the school. For 
some time the OCS had been separated physically from the administrative 
headquarters of the Chemical Warfare School and was naturally inclined to 
seek emancipation from the academic control of the commandant's staff. 

An improved situation was reported following a training inspection of 
the Officer Candidate School in June 1943. 27 At that time the student body 
was down to 470 officer candidates. Ratio of instructors to students was 1 

2S CWS History of Training, Pt. I, Training of Officer Candidates, p. 43. 

™ Memo, C Schools Br for Dir of Tng SOS, 30 Dec 42, sub: Tng Inspection, CWS OCS. SOS 
SPTRS 33 3-i- 

27 Memo, Lt John O. Richardson lor C CWS, 21 Jun 43, sub: Inspection of CWS OCS. CWS 
SPCVK 331. 



to 3.3, a fact which indicated that faculty reductions had not kept pace with 
the shrinking instructional load of the school. However, the instructor- 
student relationship was reported as being very satisfactory, largely because 
sufficient instructors were available to permit organizing small classes of 
from thirty to thirty-five students. Instructors were found to be well qualified. 
Instruction was adequately supervised under the general direction of the 
assistant commandant, Chemical Warfare School. Training of the faculty 
in instructional procedures was well advanced. The pattern of teaching 
methods followed in the course indicated real progress in emphasizing ap- 
plicatory work, as indicated by the following figures: 28 

Teaching method Percentage 

of course 

Outdoor exercise 52 

Conference 26 

Classroom exercise 10 

Film .__ 5 

Map problem 4 

Lec ru re _ . . , _ 3 

Training Program 

The officer candidate course emphasized general military rather than 
specialist training. It was by no means a satisfactory substitute for a basic 
course of instruction in the duties of a technical branch such as the CWS. 
But in 1942 the demand for young officers was urgent and immediate. The 
time allotted for OCS training was little more than enough to qualify can- 
didates to meet the responsibilities of platoon commanders in modern war- 
fare. Since there was no assurance that once an OCS graduate left the 
Chemical Warfare Center he could ever return for more schooling, the 
program for officer candidate training had to be drawn up with this in 
mind. About two-thirds of the instruction was directed to the daties of 
junior combat commanders, which by and large were well covered. The 
remaining third of the program was in the nature of basic training in CWS 
subjects, the coverage of which was necessarily sketchy. 

The primary objective of CWS officer candidate training was, from the 
start, the production of combat rather than staff officers. A steady demand 
for lieutenants to serve with chemical mortar battalions quickly absorbed 
many graduates of the Second to the Eleventh Classes. Once the first phase 
of battalion mobilization was completed, increasing numbers of graduates 

28 ibid. 



went to chemical service-type companies. The stress on qualifications for 
combat leadership persisted into 1943 when the mobilization of additional 
chemical mortar battalions was begun. The requirements of the Army Air 
Forces for junior CWS officers were running so heavy in the last half of 
1942 that special emphasis was placed on training in aviation subjects for 
the Sixth to the Thirteenth Classes. However, the long-range mission of the 
OCS course was "to train officer candidates in the basic military subjects 
which will qualify them as combat platoon officers/' 29 

Focusing of OCS training upon the needs of mortar battalions had both 
advantages and disadvantages. Although these units were clearly outside of 
the operational control of the Chemical Warfare Service, the provision of 
officers to command them was a CWS responsibility which the branch 
regarded as of primary importance. If the officer candidate could qualify for 
mortar company duty, he was presumed to be potentially capable of suc- 
ceeding in other assignments. The result of this policy was that the CWS 
officer candidate who survived to graduation emerged as primarily a combat 
leader even though the proportion of CWS officers who attained combat 
duty was relatively small. The concentration of OCS training upon a target 
which varied from the norm for CWS officers may have been objectionable 
in theory, yet in practice it proved successful. 

The prewar plan of the Chemical Warfare Service for officer candidate 
training had been written in general terms. If an officer candidate school 
were to be operated under the Protective Mobilization Plan, it would be 
"established and conducted" by the Chemical Warfare School. Classes of 
three-month duration would begin at M-30, M-60, and monthly thereafter. 
Each class would have about 150 candidates. 30 

The length of course as here indicated merely conformed to provisions 
of Mobilization Regulations 3-1. The schedule for the first course was thus 
developed by the Chemical Warfare School to cover thirteen weeks of in- 
struction. This period of training continued in effect until May 1943, when 
the War Department extended the length of all OCS courses to seventeen 
weeks. 31 

The lengthening of the officer candidate course paralleled the extension 
of replacement training from thirteen to seventeen weeks, a move also 
directed by the War Department during the summer of 1943. The selection 

29 Officer Candidate Div, CW School, Instruction Cir 3, 9 Sep 44. 

30 1940 CWS PMP, Annex 8, 10 Sep 40. AG 381, Mob Plan 1940. 

31 WD Memo S350-29-43. 25 May 43, sub: Extension of Courses at OCS. 



of identical time-cycles for both enlisted and officer candidate training was 
somewhat coincidental. The proposal to add four weeks to the OCS course 
was initiated by Army Service Forces some time before extension of replace- 
ment training was taken under consideration. 32 The idea of lengthening the 
course, although opposed by Army Ground Forces, was approved by the 
War Department for two special reasons. As was true of replacement train- 
ing, there was clear need for more emphasis on the strictly military training 
of officer candidates. Another weighty consideration at the time was the 
question of failures and turnbacks at all officer candidate schools, a matter 
which had assumed such proportions by the end of 1942 as to require special 
study by The Inspector General. A longer training period, it was argued, 
would result in fewer rejects and more graduates. 

The seventeen-week program went into effect at Edgewood Arsenal with 
the Twenty-sixth Class beginning 5 July 1943. Failures were less in this and 
succeeding classes than they had been under the thirteen-week program. This 
was due in part to the fact that training quotas by then had dropped and 
made possible such a high margin of supply over demand that a more 
satisfactory type of candidate was being enrolled. The longer course did per- 
mit a desirable elaboration of general military training which was principally 

represented by applicatory field exercises. {Table 16) 

The Problem of Failures 

The officer candidate course differed from all other service school courses 
in that the OCS student was constantly subjected to searching personal 
scrutiny. The candidate had to satisfy the staff and faculty as to his aptitude 
for eventual commissioned rank. At best, the initial selection of candidates 
had been provisional; it was the responsibility of the school to determine 
finally, as a result of close observation over an extended period of time, 
those who actually were qualified, both mentally and physically, to assume 
the responsibilities of military leadership. In OCS training the function of 
separating the fit from the unfit ranked barely second in importance to the 
function of pedagogy. 

Under War Department policy, no candidate was relieved from an officer 
candidate school before completion of one third of the course, except for 
disciplinary action or at his own request. 33 During the last two thirds of each 

32 Memo, CG ASF for ACofS G-3, 23 Apr 43, sub: Increase in Length of OC Courses. ASF 
SPTRS 352.11. 

33 WD Cir 4 8, 19 Feb 42. 

Table 16 — Hours of Scheduled Instructions, CWS OCS 

13-Week Program 

17-Week Program 

(to July ly^tj) 

fatter July xy^tj) 

General Subjects 




Assault course... _ __ 


Bavonet technique __ _ _ _ _ 


Boobv traps _ _ _ _ „ _ _ 


Camouflage _ _ 



Combat organization tactics __ 


Combat orientation _ __ 


Company administration _ _ _ _ _ 



Dismounted drill ... _ 



Field fortifications 



General tactics _ _ _ 



Infantry weapons _ _ _ _ 






Interior guard duty 



Map and aerial pboto reading 



Marches and bivouacs _ _ _ _ 



Mass athletics _ _ _ 



Mess management _ 



Meteorology-- _ _ _ _ _ 



Methods of instruction _ _ _ _ 



Military discipline and customs _ _______ 



Military law 



Miscellaneous subjects 



IVIotor transport 



Physical training _____ 



Sanitation and first aid 



Scouting and patrolling _ _ _ _ _ 


Signal communications _ ______ 



Student presentations _ _ _ „ _ 



Supervised study. __ 



Tactical march _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 


Training management _ _ 



CWS Technical Subjects 

Total _ 



Antigas protection 



Chemical agents. __ _ _ 



Chemical mortar technique. _ 



Chemical tactics _ _ 


CWS aviation _ 



CWS materiel. _ __ 



Chemical warfare developments _ 


Gunners' examination _ _ _ _ 



Source: CWS OCS Records. 



course, however, there was a constant weeding out of candidates for failure 
to meet the exacting standards of the schools. This process at the CWS 
school was fair, it was fully understood by the candidates, and it was im- 
partially administered. The school authorities from the start adopted a firm 
stand in resisting pressures from any direction that involved discrimination 
for or against any candidate. The success of the school in withstanding 
such pressures did much to ease the troublesome question of separations. 
Candidates who successfully completed the course were convinced, upon 
graduation, that they had won commissions through their own efforts. 

For purposes of supervisory control, the course of instruction was 
divided into two-week "blocks," with each block given a distinctive initial. 
The candidate's work was measured in each of these periods, the yardstick 
of measurement differing for academic and for nonacademic progress. Often 
the two types of instruction merged to such an extent that it was impossible 
to draw a clear line between them. In either case, action leading to dismissal 
usually grew out of formal reports on the student's work. The report on 
graded papers was a reasonably precise, objective evaluation of academic 
progress while the report on nonacademic activity often had to be based 
upon the observer's opinion. 

Failure in academic subjects was relatively easy to determine. The school 
devised a scheme of graduated markings under which a discredit point value 
was established for all rated papers falling beneath the passing grade of 
seventy. This table was published in mimeograph form and a copy furnished 
to each candidate upon enrollment. Whenever accumulated discredit points 
in any two-week block exceeded designated limits, the student was called 
before the school executive and warned that he was being placed on a 
probationary status as to academic deficiency. In many cases this action was 
sufficient to spur the candidate to better grades. Where deficiency continued, 
the candidate was eventually directed to appear before a board of officers 
who considered his case personally. When the established limit for relief 
had not been exceeded by more than two discredit points and where the can- 
didate was outstanding in leadership or possessed desirable military experi- 
ence, the board frequently acted to turn him back to a subsequent class or 
even, in exceptional cases, to permit him to continue into the next block on 
a probationary status. But, in most instances, separation from the school by 
reason of academic failure was automatic when the scale of discredit points 
for relief was exceeded. 

Among failures attributable to leadership deficiency, the largest number 
were rooted in lack of force, aggressiveness, or an unimpressive military 



bearing. Physical defects, which showed up more sharply in OCS than in 
basic training, were also the direct cause of many failures. 

Each time a candidate was observed in a supervisory or command 
capacity, such as marching a section to class, or commanding a platoon at 
infantry drill or calisthenics, he was graded by his commissioned superiors. 
At biweekly intervals these and other ratings based upon military deport- 
ment were tabulated. Twice during the course, each candidate was required 
to grade every other member of his platoon in military leadership so that 
the students' own ratings combined with the ratings of the platoon, company, 
and battalion commanders provided an index to the relative standing of each 
trainee. 34 This system of marking while not perfect did afford a useful guide 
in indicating which candidates might be below average in qualities essential 
to military command. 

Demerits assessed for conduct delinquencies were also taken into con- 
sideration in determining a candidate's ability to accommodate himself to 
the disciplinary requirements of the course. Delinquencies were grouped 
into four classes, each carrying appropriate demerit values. These were 
published for the information of candidates in an OCS instruction circular. 35 
Serious offenses w r ere in most cases brought before an Honor Committee 
of the student body which recommended to the director of the Officer 
Candidate School whether the offense merited dismissal. Misconduct, how- 
ever, accounted for only a small number of separations; on the whole the 
behavior of officer candidates was exemplary. 

When the cumulative class record of the candidate, either academic or 
nonacademic, definitely fell below the standard set by the school, appearance 
before the Status Board was mandatory. This board consisted of three 
officers, at least one being of field grade. The board interviewed the individ- 
ual, considered the records, and, where deficiency in leadership was involved, 
discussed the matter with his platoon commander. The personal impression 
made by the candidate upon the board obviously carried considerable weight 
in the determination of each case. After the hearing, the Status Board recom- 
mended to the commandant, Chemical Warfare School, that the candidate 
either be relieved from the course, be turned back to a succeeding class, or in 
exceptional cases be continued on probationary status. The action of the com- 
mandant on these recommendations was final. 

3i 2d Ind, Dir CWS OCS, 15 Jan 43, to CG CW Center, to ltr C Tng Div OC CWS to Comdt 
CW School, 5 Jan 43, sub: Dismissal of Officer Candidates. CWS SPCVK 351.242 CW School 

33 Officer Candidate Div, CW School. Instruction Qr 3, 4 Sep 44. 



There was a relationship, as has been indicated, between the type of 
selectee sent to the Officer Candidate School and the size of the student 
quotas. In the first six CWS classes, enrolling an average of thirty-six 
students, losses from all causes were negligible. The problem of failures 
began with the Seventh Class, which had 226 students. It became acute late 
in 1942 under the simultaneous impact of two adverse factors — an ac- 
centuated demand for officer candidates and an overrapid development of 
the instructional staff. 

The whole problem of failures was closely studied by the school au- 
thorities, especially when (with the Fifteenth Class) losses climbed to the 
high figure of 33.4 per cent. 36 A survey of failures completed by the school 
on 4 August 1943, disclosed a number of interesting facts. Of 5,388 en- 
rollees who had entered the school up to and including the Twenty-second 
Class, only 1,420 candidates had a background of CWS experience; and 
failures ran consistently higher for men whose basic training had been in 
other branches. 37 It was notable that the number of Medical Department 
soldiers sent to the school was disproportionately high, almost equaling the 
number of candidates selected from CWS units. From the case histories 
studied at this time it was apparent that: 

a) Many candidates came to the school under the misapprehension that 
the course was primarily scientific rather than tactical in nature. 

b) Many listed the CWS school on their applications as a secondary 
choice without having serious interest in chemical warfare. 

c) Others filed applications largely because their organization com- 
manders were required to fill OCS quotas. 

The high rate of failures experienced late in 1942 and early in 1943 
began to fall off in the latter year, after which a generally downward trend 
was followed until the end of the war. In the thirty-six OCS classes con- 
ducted at the Chemical Warfare Center prior to the cessation of hostilities, 
a total of 8,068 candidates were enrolled. Of these, 1,660 were relieved 
from the school before graduation. 38 Academic failures accounted for 696 
dismissals. Resignations, unclassified as to cause, totaled 415. Leadership 
deficiencies were directly responsible for 352 separations. Other causes were: 
miscellaneous (including physical defects), 144; conduct, 53. Of all OCS 

M CWS OCS class records. 

37 Ibid. 

38 This figure does not include turnbacks, who were either graduated or dropped in later 



students, 8.6 percent failed for academic reasons, 4.3 percent for leadership 
deficiencies, and .7 percent for bad conduct. These percentages were some- 
what higher than those in AGF officer candidate schools. 39 

Although the full implications of the recorded causes of failure of CWS 
officer candidates may be subject to some question because of uncertainty as 
to the real reasons behind separations by resignation, the figures are clear 
enough to indicate a definite preponderance of losses due to academic de- 
ficiency and lack of leadership, 40 Another serious cause of failure was the 
inability of many candidates to master military tactics and techniques, par- 
ticularly those relating to chemical warfare. 

Losses among trainees returned from overseas garrisons to attend OCS 
courses ran higher than among other categories of trainees. This was partly 
the result of selecting overseas veterans on the basis of their combat records 
rather than their intellectual or educational background. The temptation 
was also strong for some enlisted men to utilize an OCS assignment as a 
pretext to return to the continental United States without serious intention 
of completing the course. Although precautionary instructions in this matter 
were issued by the War Department in 1943, the high rate of failures among 
overseas candidates at the CWS Officer Candidate School continued until 
the end of the war. 41 It is doubtful if, on the whole, full use was made by 
overseas commands of OCS facilities within the United States, or if, in fact, 
such use was feasible. Organizations had been carefully combed for CWS 
candidates before they moved overseas. Battlefield promotions were fre- 
quent; in the Mediterranean area where casualties among chemical mortar 
units w r ere high, this means was frankly adopted in preference to officer 
candidate training. In the Southwest Pacific an Officer Candidate School was 
operated for the benefit of deserving enlisted men of most arms and services, 
including the Chemical Warfare Service. The War Department, seemingly 
as a matter of equity to forces overseas, regularly allotted OCS quotas to 
theater commanders; yet in the experience of the CWS Officer Candidate 
School the training of overseas veterans was scarcely rewarding. 

In the record of the Officer Candidate School one sees repeated the 
pattern so characteristic of other phases of chemical warfare training. The 

™(i) CWS OCS class records. (2) Training of Officer Candidates in AGF Special Training 
Schools, Historical Section, AGF, Study 31, 1946. 

4(t Palmer, Wiley, and Keast, Procurement and Training of Ground Combat Troops, p. 344. 

41 Ltr, TAG to CGs, Overseas Theater & Bases, et al., 31 Mar 43, sub: Trainees Relieved at 
Own Request. AG 220.63 (3~ T 8-42) PE-A. 



distinct stages of this pattern are: first, the handicap of a deliberately delayed 
start; second, the sudden imposition of a heavy and actually excessive train- 
ing load; third, limited progress while the load is heaviest toward achieving 
satisfactory training standards; and fourth, attainment of a highly satis- 
factory status of training after the critical stage of mobilization has passed. 

A criticism raised by officers intimately concerned with operation of the 
CWS Officer Candidate School was the lack of planning as a result of which 
unexpectedly heavy loads were suddenly thrust upon the school. This situ- 
ation was unquestionably disconcerting to those responsible for OCS opera- 
tion. Such radical capacity changes as have been recorded were easy to 
decide upon at high levels of authority, yet they were extremely difficult to 
carry out at the operating level. It was not feasible for the CWS to plan in 
detail very much in advance because of unpredictable variations in War 
Department policy regarding chemical warfare, variations which were so 
painfully reflected in the efforts of the Officer Candidate School to keep 
abreast of the increasing demands placed upon it during 1942. At the same 
time it is clear that in some respects CWS planning for the training of officer 
candidates was inadequate. For example, in the four months which followed 
the War Department's warning order of August 1941 that the CWS would 
inaugurate an officer candidate school, it does not appear that active steps 
were taken to provide even the modest facilities which the project then 

Experience of the Chemical Warfare Service OCS indicates that where 
officer candidate training is undertaken as branch schooling rather than as 
branch immaterial schooling, it is necessary to observe some relationship 
between the size of the branch and the output of the school. At the time the 
CWS Officer Candidate School was operating at maximum capacity the 
branch was able to provide no more than a quarter of the candidates who 
were being enrolled. It was, therefore, not accidental that in this period the 
peak of student failures was reached. 

The effectiveness of OCS training was influenced by another situation 
over which the school had no control. There developed in 1943 a sizable 
overproduction of CWS officers. Despite careful estimates of officer require- 
ments, second lieutenants began coming off the OCS production line much 
faster than they could be absorbed. The expedient adopted was to put the 
surplus OCS graduate in an officers' pool until he was needed for an active 
assignment. But to do this — which usually meant spending several months 
marking time — had a corroding effect; it dulled the keen edge of zest and 
enthusiasm which had been built up by OCS training. Some men, after they 



finally drew manning table jobs, were able to recover from the frustrations 
of pool assignment. Others were not. 

One of the problems never entirely solved in World War II was how to 
handle the CWS officer candidate who possessed desirable technical qualifica- 
tions but who nevertheless lacked aptitude for military leadership in the 
degree demanded by OCS standards. Such men, through no fault of their 
own, measurably swelled the ranks of rejectees. Many of them compared 
favorably with officers who entered the CWS directly from civil life, yet 
neither they nor the Army profited from their unfortunate tussle with the 
Officer Candidate School. This fact was recognized late in the war, when 
the practice was begun of rating OCS graduates according to demonstrated 
capacity for either combat or service assignment. 


Chemical Warfare Training 
of the Army 

The training of the U.S. Army in chemical warfare involved more then 
purely detensive training to withstand enemy gas attack. It included, as well, 
training in the offensive employment of chemical weapons. Under prevailing 
political policy, the United States was to use toxic chemical agents (war 
gases) only in retaliation, although once gas warfare was begun by the 
enemy, U.S. retaliation was to be energetic. As to the other two types of 
chemical munitions — smokes and incendiaries — no such limitation was ever 
placed upon their use. The Chemical Warfare Service was intimately con- 
cerned with instructing in the defensive and offensive techniques relating to 
all three groups of chemical weapons. 1 

Antigas Training of Air and Ground Units 

The training of the U.S. Army to defend itself against an enemy gas 
attack was certainly not overlooked before the war. Yet, for reasons described 
in preceding chapters, the level of this training in December 1941 could not 
be rated as uniformly high. 

The status of gas defense training in air and ground force commands at 
the outset of hostilities affords an interesting contrast. The training in air 
units was reasonably good. In ground units it was poor. In each instance, the 
status of training reflected the predilection of the high command. 

Air policy on chemical warfare training at the time of the Pearl Harbor 
attack called for the training of all individuals and all units of the Army Air 
Forces in defense against chemical attack, as well as for the tactical readiness 
of combat units for offensive action. 2 The instructions were comprehensive 

defensive procedures were outlined in FM 21-40, the tactics and technique of offensive em- 
ployment in FM 3—5. 

2 This policy was outlined in Air Force Combat Command Memo 50-7 (27 Nov 41), which 
was superseded by AAF Regulation 135-n (27 Jul 42), which was in turn superseded by AAF 
Regulation 50-25 (31 Aug 44). Chemical warfare training overseas was prescribed in Chapter 14, 
Booklet IV, The Air Force In Theaters of Operation, prepared by Management Control, Hqs AAF, 
May 1943. 



and exacting and, appearing over General Arnold's name, they were ac- 
cepted by all AAF elements at face value. The training directives, in short, 
were offshoots of a long established air policy of realism toward chemical 
warfare; and while it obviously would have been impossible for the several 
tactical air forces to carry out the directives in every detail, they did comply 
substantially with the spirit of these instructions. The program itself was 
adopted and carried forward by AAF headquarters without special prompt- 
ing by the War Department. The functions of the Chemical Warfare Service 
under this program were to train CWS officers for duty with air units and 
to provide special schooling for AAF unit gas personnel. 

Elements of the Eighth Air Force arriving in England in the summer of 
1942 quickly recognized the grim seriousness with which the Royal Air Force 
approached the problems of protecting air establishments from gas attack. 
AAF defensive preparations were soon permeated by the same sense of 
realism, one which continued to influence AAF attitudes during the course 
of hostilities. The air command assumed that in the event of gas warfare, 
probably as much as 80 percent of the toxic agents employed in retaliation 
would be released from aerial bombs; and it seemed logical to suppose that 
the brunt of enemy attack would be against air force bases. Doctrine cover- 
ing chemical defense of air establishments was set forth in considerable 
detail by the War Department in May 1942. The AAF followed this doctrine 
in developing protective procedures for the bases it occupied in England and 
Northern Ireland and, later, for bases in other theaters. 3 Despite the mag- 
nitude of the training problems confronting the Army Air Forces, both G-3 
and CWS were satisfied that preparations for gas defense of air bases over- 
seas were reasonably adequate. 

The situation as to training of ground force units was, as just mentioned, 
quite different. Here the high command took but a cursory interest in the 
subject, an attitude that was quickly reflected at many subordinate command 
posts. The standards announced in official Army publications had little mean- 
ing unless they were sympathetically approached at unit levels. And of the 
factors affecting gas defense training, the attitude of the commanding officer 
was the most influential. If the division commander was interested in this 
training, it was encouraged in the regiments and battalions; if not, then 
little was accomplished. Next to the unit commander, the chemical officer 
was in a position to contribute most to the success of the gas defense 
program. 4 The combination of an interested commanding general and a 

3 WD Tng Cir3i, 16 May 42. 

4 Chemical officers were assigned to armies, corps, and divisions. 



competent and energetic division chemical officer meant a satisfactory 
standard of training and consequently, a good state of gas discipline; but 
ground force units for the most part lacked such a combination. 

Another factor that had a direct effect on the gas defense training 
picture was the over-all status of training of the organization. Until a unit 
had acquired some proficiency in the use of its own weapons, there was little 
time for such specialties as chemical warfare. Only after a commanding 
general had been satisfied that his organizations could acquit themselves well 
in their primary missions was he inclined to devote attention to antigas 

Changes in War Department Policy 

The cue as to emphasis to be placed on protection against chemical 
attack in the troop training program came ultimately from the War Depart- 
ment General Staff. For the first time in many years, the War Department 
annual training directive in force in 1941 omitted reference to gas defense 
training. This omission was no doubt a result of General Marshall's in- 
sistence that this particular directive be streamlined and condensed; when it 
was written, other features of military training were more retarded and 
needed more emphasis than the chemical warfare training program. The 
reasons for this change were not made know r n to Chief, CWS, who was 
merely advised that chemical warfare training had been carefully considered 
and "purposely omitted." 5 This move, together with the fact that gas war- 
fare situations were deliberately ruled out of early ground force maneuvers, 
was taken to indicate a general lack of interest by higher authorities in this 
type of training. As a result, the gas defense training situation for ground 
units, which had been fairly good in 1939, had deteriorated by the early 
months of 1942 to an all-time low. The Chemical Warfare Service had be- 
come most anxious about this matter during the summer of 1941 and was 
hopeful that with the perfection of their primary training, the divisions, 
corps, and armies would soon be able to give more attention to operations 
in situations of gas warfare. But the stepped-up mobilization that followed 
the Japanese attack seemed to preclude this possibility. 

Although the War Department General Staff declined to interpose in the 
issue of gas warfare situations in the 1941 army maneuvers, staff policy 
began to change immediately after Pearl Harbor. As a result of the January 
1942 War Plans Division study of the use of toxic gases, the AGF agreed to 
a more realistic approach to antigas training as well as to the use of smokes 

5 Memo, ACofS G-3 for TAG. 16 Mar 40, sub: WD Tng Directive, 1940— 1941. G-3/30000. 



and nontoxic chemicals in future maneuvers. These measures were incor- 
porated in a letter-directive, sent out from General McNair's headquarters 
in April 1942, which contained the admission that "recent observation of 
ground force units indicates the need of added emphasis on the training of 
troops in defense against gas attacks." 6 

The training situation as it existed at the beginning of 1942 required an 
explicit War Department statement of policy. The Chemical Warfare Serv- 
ice proposed the issuance of such a statement as one of a number of recom- 
mendations made with a view to rectifying the entire chemical warfare posi- 
tion of the U.S. Army. 7 On 15 June 1942, the War Department did publish 
a definite directive on gas warfare training. 8 This directive was broad enough, 
yet explicit enough, to serve throughout the remainder of the war as a top- 
level statement of objectives. It called for a degree of perfection in unit as 
well as individual training that had not been attempted since the period 
before mobilization of the wartime Army. It required the introduction of gas 
situations in field exercises and directed that increased attention be given in 
all service schools to training in principles and methods of gas defense. If 
the directive could be substantially fulfilled, the Chemical Warfare Service 
felt, the Army need have no undue fear of gas warfare. It became one of 
the training responsibilities of the Chemical Warfare Service to see that War 
Department policy as thus expressed was carried out in zone of interior 

Revival of Antigas Training 

The turning point in gas defense training in World War II may be dated 
by the issue of the June 1942 War Department directive for chemical war- 
fare training. Before then some soldiers had been taught, in basic training, 
how to wear a gas mask. A few had learned the specialized duties of unit 
gas personnel. Yet individual training had not been continuous, the numbers 
who had been so trained were insignificant, and the training that was given 
had atrophied through disuse. Units had not learned to live and fight in 
gassed areas and they had not been taught the offensive employment of 
chemical weapons. Almost half of the U.S. Army divisions had been 
mobilized and trained before the revised War Department policy calling 
for balanced chemical warfare instruction began to take effect. The question 

6 Ltr, AGF to CG Second Army et al., 16 Apr 42, sub: Gas Defense Training. AGF 353/979- 

7 See above, [Chapter 11X71 

8 Ltr, AGO to CGs AG F et ah, 15 Jun 42, sub: CW Tng Directive. AG 353 (6-8-42) 
MS- -C-M. [See Appendix I.| 



now to be answered was, could an established training trend be arrested in 
mid-channel and its direction reversed? 

Actually this was feasible to but a limited degree. Units that had com- 
pleted mobilization training without consideration of the problems of gas 
warfare could only with great difficulty retrace their steps for this purpose. 
Divisions moving into theaters of operation unprepared for gas warfare 
were obliged to attempt such preparation in conjunction with theater orienta- 
tion training; this was repeatedly undertaken in Hawaii and in England by 
units temporarily in those areas. But for divisions mobilized late in 1942 and 
in 1943, the General Staff insisted that protection against gas attack be 
woven into their unit training from the start. 

In 1943 all divisions were devoting many more hours to chemical war- 
fare training than they had in early 1942. 9 Each division ran a chemical 
warfare school where instruction was given to selected commissioned and 
noncommissioned officers over a period of three to five days. The subjects 
covered included agents, munitions, decontamination, and first aid. The 
officers who completed this course of instruction were appointed regimental 
and battalion gas officers, and the noncommissioned officers were appointed 
gas NCO's. In that capacity they trained their respective units in gas defense. 
The chemical officer retained responsibility for seeing that such training was 
up to the standards set by the War Department. A feature of gas defense 
training throughout the ground forces was the requirement that every man 
in every unit pass through the gas chamber. This exercise was always closely 
supervised by the division chemical officer and his staff. 

By mid-1943 the War Department was attacking the problem of gas 
warfare on a global basis. For the theaters, it was setting up standards of 
readiness; for the zone of interior, it was insisting that troops preparing for 
overseas movement should be trained in defense against gas attack, at least 
to a point where no more than maintenance training in this specialty would 
be required after they arrived overseas. War Department policy was spelled 
out in a radio message from the Chief of Staff to theater commanders on 31 
July 1943. This message reiterated the President's announcement on this 
subject, made 8 June 1943, and stated that, assuming "our enemies may take 
the initiative in the use of gas, it is essential that gas training, discipline, 
and equipment in your theater be such that in the event of surprise use of 
gas by the enemy, casualties may be reduced and initial retaliation will be 

9 This information is based on interviews and communications between the Historical Office 
and some twenty-five former chemical officers. Corps and division retired files for the World War 
II period as well as AGF and Chief of Staff files were searched, but little information on chemical 
warfare training appeared. 

Women Leaving CWS Gas Chamber after instruction in use of gas mask. 
Part of lesson is to remove mask before leaving chamber and thereby experi- 
ence effects of tear gas. 



heavy and prompt/' 10 Reports were required from all theaters on readiness 
for chemical warfare as of i January 1944, and periodically thereafter. 

The key to the readiness of overseas units to engage in gas warfare was 
the state of their gas discipline. The radio directive of July 1943 necessarily 
implied that some retraining in the theaters would have to be done before 
the degree of readiness called for could be attained. Yet obviously the level 
of this training would quickly be reduced by the continued shipment from 
the zone of interior of troops inadequately trained for chemical warfare. 
This matter was brought directly to the attention of AGF by G-3 in a 
memorandum which stated: "It is therefore necessary that the training of 
individuals and units being sent to theaters must comply strictly with estab- 
lished standards." 11 The War Department General Staff was determined to 
exact more complete compliance with the requirements of the 1942 training 
directive, not only by direct contact with AGF headquarters but also through 
employment of the Chemical Warfare Service to inspect the progress of gas 
defense training. 

Service-Wide Inspections 

During 1943 and 1944, the activities of the Chemical Warfare Service 
in the field of antigas training were aimed at helping the ACofS G-3 in 
his effort to develop a better state of preparedness for chemical warfare on 
the part of ground units still training in the zone of interior. An important 
means to this end was the procedure set up on September 1943 which pro- 
vided for the technical inspection of troops and installations by representa- 
tives of technical services in order to determine the suitability of equipment 
and technical training. 12 

The chiefs of the technical services had two distinct fields of respon- 
sibility. ' Each administered an important procurement and supply agency, 
supervision of which was delegated by the War Department to Head- 
quarters, Army Service Forces. At the same time each branch chief was a 
technical adviser to the Chief of Staff and/or the Secretary of War in his 
special field, the Surgeon General in the field of medicine, the Chemical 
Officer in the field of chemical warfare, and so forth. In this latter capacity, 
the relationship of the technical branch to the War Department was 
naturally direct rather than through the commanding general, ASF. It was 
the practice of the Chief of Staff, when circumstances demanded, to curtail 

10 CM-OUT 1553 through 1560, 5 Aug 43. 

"Memo, AofS G-3 for CG AGF, 4 Oct 43, sub: CW Training. WDGCT 353. 
"WD Memo W265-I-43, 22 Sep 43, sub: Tech Inspection of Troops and Installations by 
Representatives of the Chief of Tech Services of the ASF. AG 333, 27 Aug 43, Case 1. 



formality by dealing directly with the technical branches on important tech- 
nical matters; this procedure was continually employed for determining the 
status of antigas training during the latter period of the war. 

A system of inspection visits was worked out by the Chemical Warfare 
Service which brought about an improvement, probably as great as possible 
under the circumstances, in the gas defense training situation. Inspecting 
officers were sent out from the Field Training Branch of the Training Di- 
vision, OC CWS, which was located in Baltimore. In a period of fifteen 
months, these inspectors visited approximately one hundred training and 
administrative installations of Air, Ground, and Service Forces, including 
unit and replacement training centers, air bases, ports of embarkation, and 
training and maneuver areas of field forces. Reports of each inspection were 
transmitted quickly to G-3, War Department General Staff, affording that 
office a timely picture of the state of gas defense training of units remaining 
in the United States. This inspection procedure did more than inform the 
staff; it enabled the Chemical Warfare Service to get a clear picture of the 
strengths and weaknesses of the chemical defense training program of the 
Army, for which it was technically responsible. Before inauguration of the 
technical inspections procedure, the rigidity of the three-command organiza- 
tion of the War Department precluded technical branches from gaining 
intimate knowledge of the status of their specialties within ground and air 
establishments; after 1943, this situation was greatly improved. The fact 
that AAF, AGF, or ASF headquarters notified the unit or installation that 
the CWS inspection team was acting for the War Department was itself a 
spur to better training and accounted for much of the improvement that 
was later evident. 13 

The technical inspections resulted in improved administration of chem- 
ical warfare training throughout the Army. Chemical officers were assigned 
to AGF replacement training centers to insure more effective individual 
training of replacements in protection against chemical attack. The Army 
Ground Forces made greater use of the Chemical Warfare School to train 
combat personnel as instructors in chemical warfare. The Chemical Warfare 
Service sent a dozen junior officers on temporary detail to special troop 
sections of corps and armies in an effort to correct chronic weakness in anti- 
gas training of nondivisional units. Responsibility of post chemical officers 
in the training of nondivisional units was clarified in 1944. 14 

13 Reports of inspections by CWS and AGF officers on all aspects of training including chemical 
warfare are in AGF Cml Sec file, 353.02, Rpt of Visits. 

14 WD Cir 237, 12 Jun 44. 



Although these measures were helpful, gas defence training remained 
inadequate. In a report to the Deputy Chief of Staff as late as March 1944, 
ACofS G-3 (Maj. Gen. Ray E. Porter) stated: 

As a result of several reports from overseas theaters indicating a deficiency in 
chemical warfare training, the Army Ground Forces were directed to include chemical 
phases in all maneuvers of divisions and larger units. ... It is the opinion of this 
division that chemical warfare training in the Army has not yet reached a satisfactory 
standard, . . . The division will continue to pay particular attention to the progress 
of chemical warfare training. 15 

This judgment was made at a time when full-dress rehearsals were being 
staged for the invasion of Europe and when American offensives already 
were beginning to roll in the Central and Southwest Pacific. A year later the 
situation had scarcely improved. A survey of units formally inspected by The 
Inspector General during the second quarter of 1945 showed 30 percent to 
be deficient in defense against chemical warfare and 35 percent unqualified 
in decontamination procedures. 16 This was a discouraging picture, coming 
at the end of two years of intensive effort to improve the readiness of the 
U.S. Army for gas warfare. Despite explicit directives which eventually 
were supported by all the pressure that G-3 could bring to bear, the fact 
remained that gas defense training during World War II did not attain a 
standard satisfactory to the General Staff. The reasons for this situation are 
worth considering, since they bear on future training of this type. 

Shortcomings in Antigas Training 

The apathy with which gas defense training was so often regarded by 
the ground forces may have been rooted in a basic conviction that gas, like 
the incendiary, had become primarily an air weapon and that its future 
employment would be principally strategic rather than tactical. Such views 
were frankly held by air units and accounted for much of the vitality that 
marked AAF training in chemical warfare throughout the war. Perhaps the 
principal reason why AGF preparations for chemical warfare did not more 
nearly approach the objectives set by the Staff is the fact that many com- 
manders never did take seriously the prospect of gas attack in ground 

This attitude, prevalent in GHQ in the early days, became even more 

15 Memo, ACofS G-3 for DCofS, 6 Mar 44, sub: Chemical Warfare Training. WDGGT 353. 

19 Rpt, Trig Div OC CWS, 19 May 45, sub: Rpt of Inspections and Findings of the Field Br. 
CWS 314.7 Tng File. This report contains a detailed analysis of CWS training inspections made 
under reference cited in Note 12, above. 



pronounced as the war drew on toward its end. Among the field forces 
there continued to persist a widespread belief that such comprehensive 
training as the General Staff demanded was not required. According to the 
nature and habit of soldiers, this negative attitude, while never openly ex- 
pressed, still effectively prevented the breath of life from fully entering the 
antigas training program. 

Actually the gas defense program as set down on paper proved to be 
more comprehensive than circumstances demanded. It undertook to cover 
more ground than was feasible in view of the psychological factors involved. 
Until poison gas was really in the air, it was clear that troops would go so 
far and no farther in energizing protective measures. This fact emerges from 
an analysis of reports of inspections of gas defense training made by the 
Chemical Warfare Service during the latter stages of the war. 

Notable was a general lack of carefully prepared standard operating 
procedures for defense against chemical attack. 17 There was little or no 
inclination on the part of units to require the occasional wearing of gas 
masks at work, in firing weapons, or in tactical exercises. Frequent de- 
ficiences were reported in methods of decontaminating food, water, and 
equipment. In the field of collective protection, defects in training showed 
up most clearly, and it was here that the unit commander's attitude was most 
influential. If unconvinced of the need for chemical warfare training he 
assigned chemical officers and unit gas officers to other duties which pre- 
cluded their attention to gas defense. In half of the units surveyed, gas 
officers and NCO's were not well trained so that instruction was poor. In 
many instances there were insufficient local schools for training of instruc- 
tors; where there were schools, however, the training was either excellent 
or superior. Finally, the failure of army and corps chemical officers to make 
regular inspections of gas defense training in subordinate units, the inspec- 
tion reports stated, appeared to be a contributing reason for many unsatis- 
factory ratings since 27 percent of the units inspected reported never having 
been visited by CWS staff officers. 18 

Other weaknesses were disclosed by these reports which pointed to 
defects in the program itself. For example, the basic War Department train- 
ing guide (FM 21-40) had certain objectionable features. This 271-page 
manual was too technical for general training use, and failed to differentiate 
between what should be taught the instructor and what the average trainee 

17 Th is standing operating procedure was prescribed in Appendix III, FM 21-40. 

18 See Note 16, above 



needed to know about chemical warfare. 19 The designation of unit gas 
officers and noncommissioned officers by regimental, battalion, and company 
commanders was called for in the manual but was not prescribed in ap- 
propriate tables of organization. Failure of the War Department to provide 
more authentic authorization for unit gas personnel led to endless difficulties. 

While some failures in antigas training were thus attributable to in- 
difference on the part of local commanders, some were due to improper 
supervision, and others grew out of defects in the gas defense program. All 
of these defects would probably have been corrected quickly enough in the 
event of gas warfare. The antigas training program of World War II 
should be judged in the light of what it actually was — a preparatory rather 
than a final defensive scheme. As such, it might be rated as satisfactory. 
Much of the time employed in this training was at the expense of other types 
of military instruction. If at times the degree of preparedness achieved 
appeared excessive to local commanders, it was on the other hand a source 
of assurance to high echelons — which were much more sensitive to threats 
of hostile gas attack. 

Three trends in gas defense training of the U.S. Army during the course 
of the war were definite enough to deserve notice. These were: 

Simplicity: Elimination of technical and nonessential detail from in- 
structional material employed in basic training. 

Concentration: Need for more intensive training of selected specialists, 
and less chemical warfare training for the Army as a whole. 

Differentiation: Frank recognition of the essential distinction between 
training needed before the employment of toxic chemicals and that needed 
after a gas warfare phase begins. 

In the matter of simplifying instruction, a great deal had been accom- 
plished by the end of hostilities. A move toward simplification of gas 
defense training was made possible by the introduction of gas detector kits 
and other devices for indicating the presence of toxic chemicals. 20 These 
lessened the importance that had always been placed on nasal identification 
of war gases by the individual soldier, a knack which was particularly 
difficult to teach. Another perennial obstacle in training was the old 
terminology of toxic agents. This terminology was eventually simplified in 
line with British practice of grouping casualty agents into three easy 

lp Some of the objections to the wartime edition of FM 21-40 were eliminated in the postwar 
issue of this manual (September 1946). 
20 TM 3-290, 27 Mar 44. 



classifications: blister gases, chok- 
ing gases, and nerve poisons. 21 The 
trend toward more simplified anti- 
gas training is tangibly indicated by 
the publication of a graphic train- 
ing aid which reduced to postcard 
size a summary of protective meas- 
ures. 22 

While the trend during the lat- 
ter stages of the war was toward 
curtailing and streamlining basic in- 
struction in chemical warfare, this 
tendency was accompanied by a ris- 
ing emphasis on the specialized 
training of both officers and en- 
listed men designated as unit gas 
personnel. The introduction late in 
the war of a gas officer at the com- 
pany level indicated at once the 
continued concern of the War De- 
partment in the scheme of gas pro- 
tection and the need for concen- 
trating instruction in this field. 25 
Less reliance upon local schools and 
greater utilization of service schools 
for training of antigas specialists 
was evident as the war ended. 

M9 Chemical Detector Kit. De- 
veloped at Edgewood Arsenal in 1944, 
the M9 kit was one of several devices 
used to determine presence and type of 
toxic chemicals. 

Flame, Smoke, and Incendiaries 

The need for training troops in the employment of flame weapons arose 
largely, although not entirely, from the fact that new flame techniques were 
introduced in World War II. The flame thrower of World War I had serious 
limitations which restricted its use to very special situations. For this reason 
the weapon was not regarded seriously by the CWS and its use was seldom 
taught at service schools. But the development of thickened fuel from 1940 
on, together with mechanical improvements, markedly increased the military 

21 FM 2 1-40, C 4, 1 5 Sep 44. 

22 Graphic Training Aid 3—2. 
33 FM 21-40, C 5, 1 May 45. 



potential of flame projection and did so at a time when tactical operations 
in the Pacific demanded a weapon of this type. 

Fuel thickened by napalm and other materials was even more widely 
used by tactical air than it was by ground forces, once its value as a filler for 
fire bombs had been determined. Training in flame warfare was essentially 
technical training in the Army Air Forces; yet with ground forces it had to 
be both technical and tactical. 

Little flame-thrower training of any kind was undertaken in the Army 
until mid- 1 94 3 when flame throwers began to be manufactured and dis- 
tributed on an appreciable scale. 24 While responsible only for the super- 
vision of training in the maintenance and operation of the weapon, the 
Chemical Warfare Service also became involved in instruction with respect 
to its tactical use. In 1943 a ten-hour course was introduced at Camp Sibert 
and given to all replacements. This course covered not only maintenance 
and operation but also tactical employment of the flame thrower. Many of 
the teplacements who took the course were later assigned to infantry units 
responsible for the employment of the flame thrower in combat. 25 

Both the Corps of Engineers and Infantry had a responsibility for the 
employment of the flame thrower. Engineer responsibility stemmed from its 
mission of demobilizing enemy fortifications, a type of operation in which 
flame throwers could play an important role. Instruction on the tactical use 
of the flame thrower was included in a three- week course, "Attack on 
Fortified Areas," given to field grade officers at the Engineer School, Fort 
Belvoir. 26 

Instruction in maintenance and operation of the flame thrower was 
offered in infantry and armored divisions where the commanding generals 
showed an interest. In these divisions the chemical officers inaugurated 
courses of instruction for gas officers or a limited number of enlisted men 
from each company. Generally, the division chemical officer carried on this 
instruction on his own initiative, but in certain divisions the commanding 
officer of the engineer battalion co-operated closely with the chemical 
officer. 27 

All infantry and armored divisions devoted some time to smoke training 

24 CWS Rpt of Production, i Jan through 31 Dec 45, p. 13. 

23 Interv, CmlHO with Maj Clifton O. Duty, 11 May 56. Major Duty was in charge of flame 
thrower instruction at Camp Sibert from 1943 to 1945. 

2fl (i) Course on Attack of Fortified Areas (TES Z-9). Archives Section, Engineer School, 
Fort Belvoir, (2) Interv, CmlHO with Col Ellis O. Davis, 11 Apr 56. Colonel Davis was 
chemical officer of 6th Armored and 42d Infantry Divisions in World War II. 

* Ltr, Col Raymond J. Anderson to CmlHO, 10 May 56. Colonel Anderson was chemical 
officer of the 75 th Infantry Division in World War II. 



Medium Tank Equipped With Flame Thrower firing on entrance to 
enemy cave. Picture taken on Okinawa, 1945. 

although the amount of time varied greatly as between divisions. In the 
early period of the war the shortage of smoke pots and grenades was a factor 
in the lack of emphasis placed on smoke training. But the chief factor, as in 
other phases of chemical warfare training, continued to be the attitude of 
the individual commander. In some divisions little attention was paid to 
smoke training at any time during the war, while in others approximately 
as much time was given to this type training after mid-1942 as to gas defense 

Training of infantry and armored units in smoke operations emphasized, 
first of all, the defensive aspects. The chemical officer, in units where smoke 
training was stressed, had each company march through a smoke screen in 
order that the men might learn the difficulty of keeping direction. Secondly, 
the offensive use of smoke was treated. The chemical officer and his staff 
instructed units in the use of smoke pots, grenades, and colored smokes for 
marking and signaling. Smoke was employed in battalion exercises and in 
army maneuvers. 

Because of the shortages in the supply of incendiary bombs, particularly 



in the early period of the war, little stress was laid on training in defense 
against this type munition. Most divisions limited their activity to mass 
demonstrations. In the few divisions where the supply situation was satis- 
factory, much more time was devoted to defense against incendiaries. In the 
8oth Infantry Division, for example, the chemical officer set up a procedure 
whereby a number of 4-pound thermite bombs were dropped from trees so 
that members of his staff could conduct practical training in putting out fires 
and otherwise neutralizing the effects of the bombs. 28 In at least one division, 
the 75th Infantry Division, each man in each company was trained in the 
use of incendiary grenades. 29 

Corps chemical officers were responsible for evaluating the results of 
chemical warfare training in the divisions of their respective corps. In addi- 
tion, they conducted such training for nondivisional troops throughout the 
corps. Generally the corps chemical officer conducted this training in the 
same manner in which the division chemical officer trained prospective gas 
officers. 30 A unique practice was introduced by the chemical officer of IV 
Corps, Col. Hugh M. Milton II. In March and April 1942, Colonel Milton 
established a traveling school which visited training installations throughout 
the corps. Courses of instruction were drawn up with the assistance of 
division chemical officers, a number of whom acted as instructors. First to 
take the courses was the staff of the corps. This was followed by instruction 
of division personnel, which took ten days. The purpose behind this type of 
school — it was generally referred to as the "circus" — was to impress the 
students right at the start of their divisional training with the importance 
of chemical warfare. 31 

Supervision of training in defense against gas warfare remained the 
principal mission of the Chemical Warfare Service so far as training the 
Army in chemical warfare was concerned. Next came the supervision of 
training in the use of smoke. This was followed, in order of priority, by 
training in the use of the flame thrower and defense against the employ- 
ment of incendiaries. 

In summary the effectiveness of training against gas warfare is somewhat 
difficult to assay, because this type of warfare was not resorted to during 
the war. That this training, as late as March 1944, was not satisfactory, was 

28 Interv, CmlHO with Col John N. Miles, 12 Apr 56. Colonel Miles was formerly chemical 
officer of the 8oth Infantry Division, where he put this procedure into effect. 

29 See | Note 27I above. 

30 Interv, CmlHO with Col Timothy Murphy, former chemical officer XI Corps, 23 May 56. 

31 Interv, CmlHO with Hon Hugh M. Milton II, Asst Secy of "Army (Manpower and Reserve 
Forces), 26 Jun 56. Mr. Milton was chemical officer IV Corps in 1942. 



the conviction of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3. That his judgment 
appears to have been correct is borne out by the reports of CWS inspectors 
as late as 1945. One of the chief reasons behind this lack of preparation was 
the attitude of certain ground force commanders who were convinced that 
gas warfare was not imminent and who therefore failed to emphasize this 
type of training. In all instances commanding generals of divisions assigned 
additional duties to chemical officers. 

While the attitude of those commanders with regard to gas warfare is 
understandable, it is more difficult to understand their attitude toward other 
types of chemical warfare — smoke, flame, and incendiaries. There certainly 
was no question about the probability of the use of those munitions on the 
battlefield. Yet throughout the various ground force divisions there was 
anything but uniformity in the amount of time and effort devoted to this 
type of training. But perhaps it is possible to censure ground force com- 
manders too severely. Under pressure to conduct training programs of all 
kinds the commanding generals naturally had to rely upon the advice of 
their chemical officers. And in some instances the chemical officers were not 
active enough in "selling" chemical warfare to their commanders. 

The training of the Army for gas warfare, conceived of as the primary 
training mission of the CWS in the prewar years, unexpectedly became a 
secondary mission in World War II. What had loomed in peacetime as a 
more or less secondary mission — the training of service type units and re- 
placements — actually became the chief training responsibility during the war. 
Of great importance too was the training of chemical mortar battalions 
which were organized in numbers not contemplated in the peacetime period. 
Although the ground forces had jurisdiction over these battalions, the CWS 
had a very active interest in their training. Thus did the exigencies of war 
and changes in War Department organization and policies make unforeseen 
requirements in Chemical Warfare training. 

Nor was the distinction between plan and reality confined to the training 
activities of the Chemical Warfare Service. After responsibility for the de- 
velopment, procurement, and storage of incendiary bombs was transferred 
from the Ordnance Department in the fall of 1941, the CWS undertook a 
program for which no peacetime plans had been drawn, a program that 
developed into one of the most important wartime efforts. The assignment 
of the biological warfare mission to the CWS shortly before the outbreak 
of war led to large-scale research and development in this new field of 

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Appendix C 

Chemical Warfare Service Negro Personnel Strength, 
World-wide: 30 April 1942 to 31 December 1945 

End of month 

Continental United States 


















( 6 ) 






August - 
















































June _ 

























































June _ 




































Appendix C — Continued 

Continental United States 


End of month 


















B Army reports of branch strength were compiled on the basis of branch designation of personnel with each command, and not on the 
basis of duty assignment. Some of the listed personnel may not, therefore, have been on chemical duty and personnel of other branches or 
personnel without branch designation may have been assigned chemical duty. This personnel is included in strengths as shown in Appendixes 
A and B. 

4 Not reported. 

Source: Extracts from STM — 30, Strength of the Army Report, prepared by Machine Records Branch, TAG, Monthly. 

Appendix D 

Office of the Chief, CWS, Officer Personnel Strength 
August 1939 to December 1945 

End of month 



















































End of month 

1942— Continued 














































Appendix D — Continued 

End of month 













End of month 

1945 — Continued 












° Includes National Guard, Officer Reserve Corps, and Army of United States officers. 
6 Breakdown by component not made after 20 March 1943. 

Source: Office of the Comptroller, Department of the Army, Statistics Branch (Squier/Pentagon 2B673) from: (1) Monthly Report of Per- 
sonnel Activities, WDAGO 73 ; (2) Monthly Report of Authorizations and Strength for Personnel Operating the Z of I Establishment, WDGS 
Control Symbol SM-P2-39; (3) Monthly Report of Personnel Authorizations and Strengths for Establishments in Area of District of Co- 
lumbia and Arlington County, Va., WDM B Form 114, WDGS SM-P2^0; (4) Photostats of Monthly Strength Reports in Statistical Branch, 

Appendix E 

Key Personnel, Office of Chief, 
Chemical Warfare Service 

As of 6 July 1940 

Chief, CWS 
Executive Officer 
Chief, Personnel Division 
Chief, Information Division 
Chief, Training Division 
Chief, Supply Division 
Chief, Procurement Division 
Chief, Fiscal Division 
Chief, Technical Division 

Maj. Gen. Walter C. Baker 
Lt. Col. Paul X. English 
Lt. Col. Geoffrey Marshall 
Lt. Col. John G MacArthur 
Lt. Col. Edward C Wallington 
Maj. Norman D. Gillet 
Lt. Col. George F. Unmacht 
Col. Arthur M. Heritage 
Lt. Col. Maurice E. Barker 

As of 20 August 1941 

Chief, CWS 
Executive Officer 
Chief, Industrial Service 
Chief, Field Service 
Chief, Technical Service 
Chief, Personnel Division 
Chief, Intelligence Division 
Chief, Fiscal Division 
Chief, Supply Division 
Chief, Plans Training Division 
Chief, Troops Division 
Chief, Incendiaries Branch 

Maj. Gen. William N. Porter 
Lt. Col. Charles E. Loucks 
Col. Paul X. English 
Col. Edward Montgomery 
Lt. Col. Maurice E. Barker 
Lt. Col. Geoffrey Marshall 
Capt. Thomas E. Rodgers 
Col. Arthur M. Heritage 
Maj. Norman D. Gillet 
Lt. Col. Crawford M. Kellogg 
Lt. Col. Charles S. Shadle 
Col. J. Enrique Zanetti 

As of 1 May 1942 

Chief, CWS 

Executive Officer 

Chief, Industrial Service 

Chief, Field Service 

Chief, Technical Service 

Chief, Control Division 

Chief, Civilian Protection Division 

Chief, Personnel Division 

Chief, Intelligence Division 

Chief, Legal Division 

Maj. Gen. William N. Porter 
Col. Charles E. Loucks 
Brig. Gen. Paul X. English 
Brig. Gen. Alexander Wilson 
Col. Edward Montgomery 
Col. Lowell A. Elliott 
Col. George J. B. Fisher 
Col. Geoffrey Marshall 
Col. John C. MacArthur 
Col. John A. Smith 


As of i May 1942 

Chief, Fiscal and Planning Division 
Chief, Public Relations Division 
Chief, Manufacturing Division 
Chief, Procurement Planning Division 
Chief, Inspection Division 
Chief, Construction Division 
Chief, Supply Division 
Chief, Plans Training Division 

Col. Arthur M. Heritage 
Maj. William O. Brooks 
Col. Patrick F. Powers 
Col. Hugh W. Rowan 
Maj. Elwood H. Snider 
Lt. Col. Lester W. Hurd 
Col. Norman D. Gillet 
Col. Ralph G. Benner 

As of 26 August 1943 

Chief, CWS 
Executive Officer 

Assistant Chief, CWS, for Materiel 
Assistant Chief, CWS, for Field 

Chief, Control Division 
Chief, Personnel Division 
Chief, Fiscal Division 
Chief, Medical Division 
Chief, Industrial D